More revelations have emerged why President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday sacked Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of five agencies under the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).
President Buhari after a meeting with a team from the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria and Global Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) in Abuja earlier on Tuesday communicated the message to the CEOs through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
The agencies have been under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after a report from the Inspector General Office of the Global Fund accused them of financial misappropriation and systemic inefficiency.
The agencies and their CEOs include: Prof. John Idoko of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA); Dr. Ado Gana Muhammad of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA); Prof. Innocent Ujah of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Yaba, Lagos; Dr. Abdulsalami Nasidi of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); and Mr. Olufemi Akingbade of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
It was gathered that the team from GAVI and Global Fund insisted that President Buhari sacked the CEOs as part of reassurances and conditions for continued funding of the suspended health projects.
However, Buhari has approved the appointment of new heads to the five critical Federal Government health agencies, even as the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was conspicuously left out.
Director of Press in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Bolaji Adebiyi, in a statement, yesterday, gave the names of the new helmsmen as: Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu to head the NCDC; Dr. Sani Aliyu as new Director General of NACA; Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako as new CEO of NIMR; Prof. Echezona Ezeanolue as new Executive Director of NPHCDA; and Prof. Usman Yusuf as new Executive Secretary of NHIS.
Ihekweazu was before the appointment, the Managing Partner of EpiAfric, a public health consultancy firm that focuses on Africa. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1996 and had worked in Berlin, Germany, the United Kingdom and in South Africa before he established his consulting firm in 2014. Aliyu is currently a Consultant in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Cambridge University, United Kingdom. He got his medical degree from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1993.
Aliyu worked as a medical officer at the State House Medical Centre, Abuja and from there moved to Cambridge in 1998. He rose through the ranks until he became a Consultant in Microbiology.
Salako is currently the Provost, College of Medicine at the University of Ibadan. He graduated from the same University in 1986, a fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in both Edinburg and London. He is also a member of an International Panel of Experts, United States Institute of Disease Control in Atlanta