The African Union (AU) Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), on Monday inaugurated a response situation room in Nigeria to boost the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
ECOSOCC is an advisory body of the African Union designed to give civil society organizations a voice within AU institutions and decision-making processes.
In a statement by Tunji Asaolu, 1st-Nigerian Representative of the Permanent General Assembly of AU-ECOSOCC, said the situation room would support joint efforts on the fight against the COVID-19.
Mr Asaolu said the establishment of the situation room was initiated to promote dialogue among all segments of people on issues about Africa and its future.
He said “This is in view of achieving the AU-ECOSOCC’s mandate, which is primarily to coordinate the participation of all civil societies towards domesticating the decisions of the AU in member states.
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“In this regard, AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria has partnered with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, the Social Development Secretariat of FCT and Thunderbolt Media.
“Collectively we will mobilise the participation of CSOs and Volunteers to avail us information and data for critical review at the AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria COVID-19 Response team situation room.”
He said 62 civil society organisations, international development partners and concerned individuals had been mobilised across the country to sensitise people on preventive measures of COVID-19.
Mr Asaolu said the volunteers would monitor the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable groups, evaluate the palliatives by government in the bid to advise council on proper measures to achieve targets.
He commended the federal government’s efforts to contain the disease.
“We commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the various COVID-19 Joint Task Force for their proactive steps to contain outbreak of the disease in Nigeria.
“The AU-ECOSOCC has been following the activities since the day of inauguration of Presidential Task Forces on COVID-19. Chaired by Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“The establishment of the committee is a way of implementing the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Outbreak, which Nigeria is always leading.
“While commending all these efforts, I wish to appeal to President Buhari to set-up an ECOSOCC/civil society organization, academia, labour organizations and private sector since in the fights to expedite success.”
He commended the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the fights against COVID-19.
Similarly, he commended the Ministries of Health in Africa for activating Emergency Operations Centres and Incident Management Systems.