Dr Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, says the ministry is committed to ensuring zero COVID-19 cases in the ministry.
Umakhihe said this on Friday at the commemoration of the 2021 Civil Service Week and Award for Excellence in Abuja.
The permanent secretary said this would be accomplished through the procurement of COVID- 19 safety kits such as hand sanitizers, and facemasks in compliance with Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) COVID-19 preventive guidelines and protocols.
He said that the ministry would ensure international collaboration and partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Sahel Consulting on capacity building support for the ministry.
Umakhihe said this had already commenced and was intended to provide institutional and staff capacity in agriculture and nutrition to be conducted locally and within the African region.
He said that the ministry had given approval for the procurement of assistance devices for persons living with disabilities in the ministry as requested by the affected officers through the National Civil Service Association of Persons Living with Disabilities.
“The ministry is also committed to scaling up staff welfare through capacity building that will enhance performance and productivity.
” The ministry is committed to improving the ministry’s staff clinic by ensuring that the clinic equipment match the standard comparable with other tertiary hospitals especially the ophthalmology(eye) section to boost attendance of patients to both within and outside the ministry.
” The ministry is equally committed to improved protocol for the purchase of consumables that efficiently and transparently carried out this function which resulted in the clinic experiencing fewer occurrence of stock-outs of drugs and basic consumables,” he said.
He said that Agric ministry was committed to revamping the clinic ambulance which had been moribund for years but now fit for use.
He disclosed that 13 of staff buses were being overhauled completely for staff use.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the event, Elizabeth Edet, an awardee, who expressed happiness for the award noted that it was the first time persons with disabilities were recognised in the ministry.
She thanked the permanent secretary for the honour and urged people with disabilities not to allow their situation discourage them from being productive.
An awardee, Balarabe Abdullahi, equally thanked the ministry for the recognition.