President Muhammadu Buhari Monday directed the transition committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to ensure that the achievements of the HIV programme are clearly highlighted in transition notes and a sustainability roadmap articulated for the incoming administration.
The President gave the directive during an audience with the Director–General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, and Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.
The President assured the United States Government that Nigeria would continue to prioritize the fight against HIV/AIDS until the disease was no longer a public health threat.
He said that that present administration remains committed to eradicating HIV and other public health emergencies and would leave no stone unturned until a sustainable system is put in place.
Welcoming the tremendous progress made in the collective fight to end AIDS in Nigeria, President Buhari congratulated the NACA DG for a job well done.
‘‘I wish to acknowledge the important role played in enabling the significant infrastructural investment developed over the years for HIV control, to the fight against COVID-19, Monkeypox, Lassa fever and other emerging infectious diseases affecting our people.
‘‘Gradually our determined efforts with the support of our friends, the nation’s preparedness and capacity to respond to public health emergencies is growing stronger by the day.
‘‘To this end, the Federal Government will continue to work with the leadership of the Governors Forum and the organized private sector to continue to provide adequate resources and sustainable financing for the national response to HIV,’’ he said.
Molly Phee, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said the presence of herself and her team “shows the esteem in which we hold you (President Buhari) and your country,” adding that they were proud to be partners in the battle against HIV/AIDS.
“We appreciate your leadership, and that of the Director General of NACA, and his team. You should all be proud of what you have done,” she said.
The Assistant Secretary of State also commended President Buhari for not pursuing a third term in office, and for his commitment to free and fair polls in the general elections ahead.
“You are a leader for the sub-region, for the continent, and for the world,” she said.
The American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said she was thrilled at the strides Nigeria took in combating AIDS, describing it as an “amazing achievement.”