Osinbajo: 'Strategic leadership helped Nigeria tackle COVID-19 pandemic'

According to the vice president, Nigeria thrived where wealthier countries fumbled.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (left) with President Muhammadu Buhari (right) [Presidency]

Thanks to a presidential directive in 2020, Nigeria was able to effectively tackle the COVID-19 pandemic by deploying a responsive and an effective public health framework, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Osinbajo stated this on Friday, November 12, at the public presentation of the book, 'Winning Leadership', by (Rtd.) Major-General Pat Akem-Vingir.

“As General Pat Akem argues in Winning Leadership, that knowledgeable and agile leadership at the strategic level is one that is able to mobilise resources – human, financial and material - of nations and organisations - in an effective and result-oriented manner,” Osinbajo said.

Osinbajo added that: “One of the biggest surprises for many was how some of the wealthiest and most developed economies of the world were tragically unprepared to handle a public health crisis on the scale and uncertainty of COVID-19.

"Whereas countries with more modest economic profiles, quickly deployed a public health framework that was responsive and effective.”

He further said Nigeria’s COVID-19 response has been celebrated locally and internationally.

The vice president mentioned the establishment of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, with an inter-ministerial inter-agency team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) as a reference.

The PTF, he said coordinated the national response, set the rules and briefed the nation daily for months.

"The task force swiftly issued and enforced COVID-19 protocols for travel and general movement. We restricted travel into Nigeria before most OECD countries did.

"Once the first case was discovered, the African Center of Excellence for Genomic of Infectious Diseases, in Ede, gave Africa the first genomic sequence for Coronavirus SARS 2.

“When the first doses of vaccines came, the task force developed the protocols and the public health system already used to mass vaccination campaigns, deployed across the country in every nook and cranny of Nigeria so that the first eligible vaccine candidates received their vaccinations seamlessly," he said.

Nigeria has confirmed over 213,000 COVID-19 cases and over 2,000 fatalities as of November 12, 2021.

Over 3 million persons have so far received at least a dose of available COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

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