By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), on COVID-19, said it has concluded plans to host a National COVID-19 summit from December 6 to 8, 2021.

Speaking on Monday at the bi weekly national briefing on COVID-19, in Abuja, the National Incident Manager, PSC. COVID-19, Dr. Mukhtar Mohammed, said
that the summit would focus on ending the pandemic and building back better health security to prevent and prepare for future biological threats in the country.

He said the theme of the Summit is: “Pushing through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better. While the Sub-Themes of the Summit are: “Leadership and Governance in Pandemic Recovery and Reconstruction”; “Nigeria’s Health Security Framework for Effective Response to Global Health Security

On objectives of the summit, Mohammed said, “This crucial summit will provide a forum for presentations and brainstorming on the following:To review the country’s COVID-19 response from February 2020 to November 2021- to
identify successes, gaps, and lessons learnt;To identify resources and develop strategies that will actualize the country’s expressed international commitments towards ending COVID-19 by Dec. 31, 2022.

“To develop an Accountability Framework for COVID-19 response and health security in Nigeria; To synthesize the blueprint for Nigeria’s pandemic recovery, reconstruction, health security,
and sustainability; and to articulate actionable recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari on the
governance structure, resources, and policies needed to end COVID-19 in Nigeria by Dec. 31, 2022, and build back the health system and the economy to better respond to future health-security threats.”

Speaking further, Muhammed said the summit will go a long way to demonstrate Nigeria’s readiness to action her international commitments, which will bolster the confidence and support of its
international development partners in concerted efforts to ambitiously end COVID-19 pandemic by Dec.31, 2022.

“Moreover, it will set the tone to strengthen our health system and bio-security
architecture to be able to effectively respond to present and future global health security threats”.

He added that the country had been mounting spirited multi-sectoral
efforts under the coordination of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) initially.

“However, at the expiration of the extended phase of the PTF mandate in March 2021, the President authorized the transition of the PTF to a Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), with an expiration
date of Dec. 31, 2021,” he explained.

He added that the modified mandate of the PSC reflects the non-emergent status of COVID-19 as a potentially long-term pandemic that would persist for few more years.

“This position has been corroborated by the international community based on the evolving dynamics of COVID-19
pandemic-with capacity for progressive mutations to more transmissible and deadly variants.

“This understanding has impelled world leaders recently to come to a conclusion that if efforts are not renewed and aggressive measures are not taken, COVID-19 pandemic will continue to ravage humanity well longer than earlier envisaged.

“Consequently, they came together on Sept. 22, 2021, at a Global COVID-19 summit convened by President Joe Biden of the United States
of America, and resolved to adopt an ambitious agenda to end COVID-19 pandemic by year 2022”.

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