Posted by News Express | 17 March 2020 | 1,300 times
I commend the Federal Government of Nigeria and the governments of Lagos, Ogun and Enugu states, for their proactive responses to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. The responses were swift, effective and purposeful.
The Federal Government swung into quick action, in moderating and coordinating the index case and also liaising with the state governments where other tests were conducted. In addition, the President promptly set up a Presidential Monitoring Committee to coordinate the responses and treatment mechanisms to curtail the spread of the virus. That is how to run a federation.
In particular, the Lagos State Government deserves special commendation for the detailed, methodical and painstaking efforts put into the index case, leveraging on its previous experience in the Ebola saga. The Honourable Commissioner of Health took all the risks with his team, visiting the patient regularly, supervising the administration of drugs and seeing to the recovery of the patient, who was not subjected to any embarrassment or undue exposure. He gave accurate and timely updates on actions and developments in the index case and we were all glad when it was finally announced that he had fully recovered. It is a worthy example of public service.
The governor of Lagos State himself was on top of the situation, he visited the patient and saw to the immediate renovation of the facilities so as not to jeopardise the gains of the initial efforts. It was heartwarming to see the cooperation between the Governor and the President, in the general interest of all.
The Ogun State Government provided all reasonable logistics to track all persons who came in contact with the index case and it was very meticulous and thorough in containing the possibility of any spread. It is the same story in Enugu State presently, where the Governor and his aides have demonstrated effective management techniques, in their own case.
It was therefore not surprising that the World Health Organisation commended the Nigerian government on the success of the Coronavirus management. The lessons in the success of the containment of this pandemic for Nigeria are legion.
First, it shows that if the government is willing and determined, it can achieve good leadership for the people. Second, the cooperation between the federal government and the states involved should be the model for running a proper federation in Nigeria, whereby the States take the lead in the management and administration of their resources and the Federal Government will only operate as the coordinating centre. The present lopsided situation whereby the federal government controls resources and then allocate funds to the States and Local Governments is totally unacceptable and should be reversed.
Having achieved this level of success in the containment of the Coronavirus, it will be good to follow up with a specific travel policy for Nigeria, especially in relation to countries where the epidemic has been most prevalent.
Long live Nigeria.
•Ebun-olu Adegboruwa (SAN) wrote from Igbosere, Lagos.
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