3. The Rotary Club is known globally for its service to the community and its promotion of world peace. In this regard, the Rotary is more relevant today, in the midst of a raging pandemic, than perhaps at any other time in history.
4. As at this moment, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost 14 million globally and caused over 592,000 deaths. Here in Nigeria, the total number of cases as at this Friday morning is 34,854 cases with 769 deaths.
5. The Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, has continued to battle the pandemic. But it is clear that the government cannot do this alone. That’s why we have bodies like CA-COVID, the private sector coalition against Covid-19, which has been involved in building isolation centres, supplying test kits and providing palliatives to Nigerians.
6. I am therefore 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 can help in setting up sample collection centres across the country to increase the number of tests, which is a crucial step in our TRACE, TEST, ISOLATE AND TREAT strategy. Today, we have increased the number of laboratories for Covid-19 tests from just 2 to 40, and we are ready to test as many Nigerians as possible in order to curtail the spread of the virus.
7. I make this appeal because of Rotary’s great role in the recent eradication of polio in Nigeria. 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 Rotary 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 Rotary may have done so far to support the current efforts against Covid-19 in Nigeria.
8. Once again, I congratulate you, my sister, on your election to this high office and I wish you an eventful tenure