President Muhammadu Buhari has after his meeting on Tuesday with members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, extended their mandate till March 2021.
This comes after the task force submitted reports of their activities to the President at a meeting that held at the council chambers of the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.
Naija News reports the tenure of the task force headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha expired in December 2020 but this has just been extended by another three months till March 2021.
The President explained that the extension becomes necessary so the entire country does not lose the gains already recorded in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
He added that a structure must be in place to coordinate the COVID-19 vaccine expected to be administered on Nigerians in 2021.
The President’s statement reads:
“I am extending the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021, bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases, and the bid for vaccines.
Nigeria cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months. I have critically evaluated the situation and remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread of the Coronavirus and the attendant fatalities.
There is also the need to speedily and strategically access and administer the COVID vaccine in a safe, effective and timely manner. This is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians as we go into year 2021, and it must be carried out through an efficient machinery.
Now is the time for collective efforts to be intensified. I therefore urge all sub-national entities, traditional rulers, religious and leaders of thought to collaborate with the PTF by taking up the responsibility for risk communication and community engagement at all levels.
As the festive season approaches, I urge all Nigerians to remain vigilant and stay safe. Non-essential trips and large social gatherings should be avoided or shelved completely.”