President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote as Chairman of a 16-member Nigeria End Malaria Council.
This is even as the President echoed the nation’s commitment to eradicating malaria and its economic burden of N687bn in 2022 and N2trn by 2030.
President Buhari stated this on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja, after inaugurating the Nigeria End Malaria Council in line with the African Union Assembly Declaration for the Establishment of EMCs continent-wide.
He noted that the successful implementation of the Council’s agenda will lead to N2tn savings in the next eight years.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘Nigeria will save N2 Trillion from Malaria elimination, President Buhari declares, appoints Dangote Chairman of 16-member council to eradicate disease.’
The President noted that tackling malaria holds both public health and socio-economic benefits for Nigeria.
He said, “Our inauguration today will, therefore, ensure that malaria elimination remains a priority on our agenda, with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels.
“Additionally, the End Malaria Council will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain progress made so far by our country, and put us on a pathway to ending malaria for good.”
“Malaria infection can cause severe disease and complication in pregnant women and lead to high rates of miscarriage.
“It is also responsible for a considerable proportion of deaths in infants and young children, with children under 5 years being the most vulnerable group affected. These are reasons we must not relent in fighting malaria.”
The President further explained that Dangote was chosen to chair the Council following his track record and passion in supporting initiatives on various health issues such as polio and primary health care system strengthening.
“I have been informed that the End Malaria Council has already been established in other African countries, in line with the African Union Assembly Declaration for Establishment of EMC’s in Africa.
“EMCs have provided leadership, new funding, and innovation to enable these countries to stay on track to meet malaria burden reduction targets. I am optimistic that the setting up of the Nigeria End Malaria Council will do the same for Nigeria.
“I must add that with the additional advocacy and funding the Council will bring to the malaria control drive, we can anticipate a reduction in malaria burden that ensures that our children, pregnant women, indeed, all Nigerians are shielded from the disease,” Buhari said.
On his part, Dangote thanked the President and all members of the Council for entrusting him with the responsibility, while pledging to work hard to achieve the mandate.
“I must confess that this resonates with my current role as the Nigerian Ambassador for Malaria, my role on the Global End Malaria Council and with the work that my Foundation is doing to mobilise the private sector to support malaria control in Nigeria and Africa at large,” he said.
The Council members include Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President on Political and Economic Affairs, Shehu Ibrahim; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum; Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe; Chairman, House Committee on AIDS, TB and Malaria, Abubakar Dahiru; Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Ekumankama; and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Minister of Health, Mahmuda Mamman.
Others include Chairman, Board of Directors, UBA, Tony Elumelu; CEO, Rose of Sharon Group, Folurunsho Alakija; CEO, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe; CEO Forte Oil, Femi Otedola; President, National Council of Women Societies, Lami Lau; Emertius Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan; National Amira, Federation of Muslim Women Nigeria, Rafiyat Sanni; and NEMC Secretariat/National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr Perpetua Uhomoibhi.