The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has appealed to the Rotary Club International to help in curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, by setting up sample collection centres across the country to increase the number of tests, which is a crucial step in the government’s Trace, Test, Isolate and Treat Strategy, TTITS.

Alhaji Mohammed made the call in his office in Abuja on Friday, while playing host to the newly-elected governor of the Rotary Club International’s District 9125, Mrs. Jumoke Bamigboye, and her entourage, who were in the minister’s office on a courtesy visit.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (second left); the newly-elected Governor of Rotary Club International’s District 9125, Mrs. Jumoke Bamigboye (second right), and her entourage, when they paid the minister a courtesy visit in Abuja on Friday.

The minister said, “I am using this opportunity to appeal to Rotary to leverage on its community engagement strategy to help in mitigating COVID-19’s community spread in Nigeria. Specifically, the Rotary Club can help in setting up sample collection centres across the country to increase the number of tests.”

Disclosing that the Federal Government has increased the number of laboratories for Covid-19 tests from just two to 40, in order to test as many Nigerians as possible, Alhaji Mohammed said the appeal is coming on the heels of Rotary Club’s great role in recent time in the eradication of polio in Nigeria.

He added, “Working through Rotary Nigeria’s PolioPlus Committee, this respected organization helped vaccinators to reach the remote areas of the country to ensure that every child received the polio vaccine. The result is what we have today, a polio-free Nigeria.

“I have no doubt that the Rotary Club can play a similar role in our efforts to combat COVID-19 in Nigeria and rid the country of the virus. Please note that I am making this appeal, without prejudice to whatever the Rotary Club may have done so far to support the current efforts against Covid-19 in Nigeria.”

The minister said that the Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, has continued to battle the pandemic, noting that the government cannot do it alone, hence the need to partner with the private sector and other humanitarian organizations to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Congratulating Rotarian Bamigboye on her election as the Governor of District 9125, which comprises 23 of the country’s 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory,FCT, Alhaji Mohammed said it’s a huge responsibility and a mark of great honour to have been elected to preside over such a vast territory.

Responding, Rotarian Bamigboye commended the minister for driving the public sensitization on COVID-19 safety protocols, saying that the people are now gradually imbibing and practising the preventive measures to remain safe.

She sought the partnership of the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase Nigeria’s colourful cultural heritage to Rotary’s visiting foreign dignitaries, as well as utilize the public information organs to sensitize the public on the National Immunization Days for polio and the upsurge in rape cases in Nigeria.


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