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Osinbajo: How Nigeria tackled COVID-19 pandemic

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria’s ability to effectively tackle the COVID-19 pandemic was as a result of strategic and responsive leadership.

He said that while many advanced economies were struggling to deal with the fallouts of the global pandemic, the federal government effectively contained the pandemic by deploying a responsive and effective public health framework.

According to a statement issued on Saturday, the Vice President disclosed this on Friday evening at the public presentation of the book, ‘Winning Leadership’, by Major-General Pat Akem-Vingir (retd.).

The statement which was issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande was titled, ‘Strategic leadership helped Nigeria tackle COVID-19 pandemic – Osinbajo says at retired General’s book presentation.

It quoted the Vice President as saying, “As General Pat Akem argues in Winning Leadership that knowledgeable and agile leadership at the strategic level is one that is able to mobilise resources – human, financial and material – of nations and organisations – in an effective and result-oriented manner.

“Such leadership is able to attain goals and visions and also able to protect and promote interests. In other words, effective strategic leadership purposefully provides direction and inspires.”

“One of the biggest surprises for many was how some of the wealthiest and most developed economies of the world were tragically unprepared to handle a public health crisis on the scale and uncertainty of Covid-19.

“Whereas countries with more modest economic profiles, quickly deployed a public health framework that was responsive and effective.”

The Vice President mentioned the establishment of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, an inter-ministerial interagency team led by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation as a reference.

He recalled that the PTF coordinated the national response, set the rules and briefed the nation daily for months.

He added that when the first doses of vaccines arrived, the task force developed the protocols and the public health system to enforce mass vaccination campaigns across the country to ensure that the first eligible vaccine candidates received their vaccinations seamlessly.

Buttressing his point on strategic leadership, Osinbajo said such kind of leadership requires imagination, clarity of vision and effective implementation, because of current global challenges, changes and opportunities.

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The Vice President further noted that “as a nation, the threats to our corporate existence today are unprecedented and hitherto unimagined. It is against this background that the author’s prescriptions have to be taken seriously. As he pointed out, exceptional leaders do not just emerge, they are the products of deliberate efforts in policymaking, training and grooming.”

While acknowledging that there wasn’t a magic solution that leaders can deploy to solve 21st Century economic, social and security challenges, Osinbajo stated that “only knowledgeable, well developed, trained and motivated leaders will win.”