Health Minister, Pate, Resigns
The Minister of State for Health, Muhammed Pate, has resigned from his position.
Mr. Pate announced his resignation in a later dated July 22 and sent to President Goodluck Jonathan. Mr. Jonathan has also accepted the resignation which takes effect from Wednesday.
In the letter, Mr. Pate said he was resigning to take up the position of Professor in Duke University’s Global Health Institute, in the U.S.
He said in this new capacity, he would serve as Senior Adviser to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation based in Washington DC and also participate in a university-wide Africa initiative.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plays a major role in Nigeria and other African countries in the fight against major disease like Polio.
Mr. Pate, who is currently the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, however, said he was willing to restate this position on a part time basis; as well his position as head of the Saving One Million Lives Initiative. The president accepted both recommendations.
“As we have discussed, I wish to offer the continuation of my service on part-time basis as chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication and the public-private coalition for Saving One Million Lives Initiative, if you agree, in fulfilment of my previous commitments to see to conclusion of these important national priorities. This may entail an honorary advisory role reporting directly to you progress at least on quarterly basis,” he wrote.
President Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, while speaking on the resignation, said Mr. Jonathan was highly elated that members of his cabinet were attracting required global attention.
Mr. Abati said the president saw Mr. Pate’s appointment as a plus for the administration and the country. He said President Jonathan commended Mr. Pate for his successful performance first as the Chief Executive of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency; and later as a minister.
The spokesman recalled that another cabinet member, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was one of those shortlisted for the position of the World Bank’s President last year.
“The cabinet is full of very distinguished men and women; people with not only national but also international recognition.
“The President congratulated the minister and accepted his offer to continue to serve on a part-time basis as honourary adviser.
“It is a positive development that we have people who are recognised globally. His appointment a plus for the administration and the country,” Mr. Abati said.