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Doctors strike: Permanent Sec urges NARD to embrace dialogue

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Outgoing Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health (FMOH), Mr Adulaziz Mashi Abdulahi, has appealed to the leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to return to the negotiating table to address the current impasse.

Abdulahi appealed to NARD at his formal disengagement and the handing over to his successor, Alhaji Mamman Mahmuda, on Friday in Abuja.

His word: I will like to use this medium to call on the striking members of NARD to consider the ethics of their noble profession in rendering essential services to the generality of the Nigerians.

“Our vulnerable population requires a reconsideration of your position in order to mitigate the already heightened tension in the fragile health sector.”

“Government will on the other hand do all within the available possibilities to address your aspirations”.

Abdullahi added that the Ministry remains focused and committed to creating institutional mechanisms that would foster inclusive and equitable growth and improved health outcomes that would translate into better life expectancy for the Nigerian population.

“While there is room for improvement, the health sector is expected to fare better with additional time and resources.”

“There is no doubt that our country has achieved a lot in the response to the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic.”

He stressed that the support of the Presidential Task Force now Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has served as a catalyst to the Ministry’s efforts in case management and point of entry pillars, as well as other frantic efforts of relevant agencies of the Ministry such as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, National Agency for Food and Drugs, Administration and Control.

Abdullahi, charged the incoming Permanent Secretary, to note that FMOH had within the period under review recorded significant milestones, improving the health indices of Nigerians and the performance of the health system in the process, all as a result of the purposeful leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari with support from a number of critical stakeholders, state and non-state actors alike.

“It is therefore envisaged that you will be cognizant of the recommendations/way forward contained in this Handover Note towards repositioning the health sector in line with the Next Level Agenda of Mr President.

“I have no doubt that you will bring your wealth of experience from other diverse areas to bear in order to consolidate on the gains so far recorded.”

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in his remark commended the retired permanent secretary, describing him as a “Rigorous Public Servant.“

Ehanire explained that the critical nature of work in his office to drive the ministry`s policies in terms of coordination, Abdullahi met the criteria that enabled him as the minister to execute his services at ease.

He, therefore, prayed for Abdullahi, saying that his best days were still ahead of him even as he retired from the service.

“I must say that Abdullahi, in the course of a couple of years he has spent in the ministry, discharged his duties credibly and with the best of ability and discretion.

“He exhibited maturity and skills, his interpersonal relationship meant a lot to others who were around him”.

Mahmuda was appointed Permanent Secretary in 2020, until his posting to the FMOH, he was permanent secretary at the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF).

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