Speaking at the ministry on Tuesday, September 21, the chairperson of the task force, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, said the exercise was part of its efforts to support the activities of the ministry.
The core mandate of the VSF includes economic empowerment for victims of terrorism (women); educational support for terror-affected and displaced children; psychosocial support for people affected by terrorism and; facilitation of foster programming for children orphaned by terrorism.
Other mandates are support for over-stretched hospitals to provide free treatment to victims of terrorism; critical assessment of state of insurgency in the Nigeria and; socio–economic analysis of the impact of insurgency on the victims.
Accordimg to Ogunsiji, the task force had in September 2020, made an initial donation of ICT equipment and funds to the ministry to support the ministerial expert advisory committee on the national pandemic action plan.
Ogunsiji said: “Technology equipment, state-of-the-art video teleconferencing and surveillance facilities, as well as infrastructure to support data collection and the quality of human capacity within the ministry.”
She noted that this brings the total value of the donations made to the ministry of Health to N150 million.
She also announced the completion of the implementation of the three phases of the VSF Taskforce on COVID-19 Emergency Intervention Programme.
“The intervention involved distribution of food, medical consumables and personal protective equipment (PPE) to 19 states across the six geo-political zones of the country,” she said.
She added that: “As well as the provision of support and donations to other parastatal agencies and the construction of Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in 54 schools in 18 states, across the six geo-political zones in the country.”
Ease of Activities for Ministry Staff and Visitors
In his response, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, commended the VSF, saying that the provision of the lift came at a very critical time, promising that the Ministry would make good use of the elevator.
Ehanire said: “It is important to mention that the VSF has been supporting government efforts at different levels, in various aspects even before COVID-19.”
“Particularly, during the response to the protracted humanitarian crisis in the Northeast, VSF supported the ministry in developing state specific operational plans, in order to provide targeted health responses to crisis affected communities in the northeast.”
“In the same vein, at the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, VSF made commitments to support the health sector in various ways, including support to the ministerial expert advisory committee on COVID-19 health sector response,” Ehanire noted.
He also said that these included support to the secretariat in the development of the health sector COVID-19 pandemic response action plan and also a new elevator which we are commissioning today.
He added that the experience of both staff and visitors in navigating the building and attending meetings, especially on the 6th floor, has been hindered by the limited service of the elevator
“It is also sometimes even a safety risk when the only working elevator breaks down with passengers,” Ehanire said.
According to him, the new elevator would alleviate a lot of inconvenience experienced by the staff of the ministry.
Use and Maintenance of the New Equipment
He further implored every individual to adopt a maintenance culture and take responsibility for our environment and equipment.
“This elevator belongs to us all and the onus for its maintenance should not be left to the department of general services alone.”
“We must do our part in keeping it clean and adhering to capacity warnings,” he said.
According to him, this elevator states maximum capacity is 13 persons with a total weight limit of 1000kg, but based on social distancing it is important to limit the capacity to six people.