State House Permanent Secretary, Tijjani Umar, has recommended four members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the Director-General’s Community Development Service award.
The Permanent Secretary made the recommendation in Abuja at a send-off party in honour of the retiring Head of Nursing department, State House Clinic, Habiba Ahmed, and some outgoing corps members, who served in the Clinic.
Umar lauded the contributions of the outgoing and serving corps members posted to the State House Clinic, in maintaining essential health services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that the corps members were at the frontline of implementing measures to limit the spread of coronavirus as well as reducing public health risk to workers and visitors to the Presidential Villa.
He, therefore, announced that in appreciation of the exemplary work done by some of the corps members, the State House management would officially recommend them for the Director-General’s award.
While relishing his experiences as a corps member in 1985/86 in Ilorin, Kwara State, the Permanent Secretary recounted that he had a satisfying experience serving his fatherland.
He told the corps members that the one-year NYSC programme shaped his understanding of the nation, its diversity and potential.
‘‘I loved the service. My first encounter at the orientation camp which I enjoyed was serving as a member of the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) brigade. President Buhari was then the military Head of State.
‘‘I was also a member of the quarter guard in camp and I loved everything that we did. We also received N90 bicycle allowance at that time,’’ he said.
He thanked the outgoing and serving corps members in the State House for serving the nation with respect and dignity.
He urged those still serving to always take pride in having the opportunity to serve the nation by contributing positively in their places of primary assignment.
The Permanent Secretary later presented gifts to some corps member including Dr Godfrey Okpe, Dr Idris Keji, Chukwueloka Maduegbuna and Abbas Bala.
The nominees for DG’s award, who also received gifts, are Casmir Nwachukwu, Samuel Iko Ojo, Muhammad Ma’aji, and Onwumah Onyelukachukwu.
In his remarks, the Medical Director, State House Clinic, Dr Munir Yakasai, announced that a molecular laboratory to test for coronavirus at the Clinic would be activated by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) before the end of the month.
According to him, the laboratory, which increases the number of NCDC approved molecular laboratories in the country, will also handle urological investigations, among others.
He commended the Permanent Secretary for prioritising the repositioning of State House Clinic for effective service delivery.
‘‘We now have a Special Care centre; the Dental wing which was moribund for over 10 years has been completed and now functional, drugs are available and staff welfare has greatly improved,’’ he said.
He wished Matron Habiba and the outgoing NYSC members the best of luck in their future endeavours.
Also speaking, the immediate past Head of the Nursing department thanked the Permanent Secretary and State House staff for the honour accorded her on retirement.
‘‘I feel loved by God and it is a privilege to be honoured by people you have spent a greater part of your life working with.
“When I meet people in the market and they reach out to me and call me Matron, it gives me pleasure and reminds me that for the rest of my life, I will always want to be a Nurse,’’ she said. (NAN