Chairman of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi led a delegation of Alliance members on an advocacy visit to the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Barr. Joseph Ekumankama at Federal Ministry of Health Headquarters in Abuja.
The visit which took place on January 19, 2023 was a follow up to an earlier visit to the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehinare in 2022, where both Ministers pledged to give priority attention to tobacco control in the country.
The requests put forward by the delegation centered on the need to strengthen tobacco control through the channeling of all tobacco control funds, including sums budgeted in the Appropriation Act into the dedicated Tobacco Control Fund as established by the National Tobacco Control Act of 2015, and its 2019 Regulations.
The Honourable Minister of State for Health reiterated his commitment to ensure that the requests put forward by the delegation are attended to within the lifespan of the current administration. He further remarked that issues bothering on public health, especially tobacco control issues ought to be treated with a sense of urgency. Finally, he hinted on a plan to work with the Minister of Health in clearing out administrative bottlenecks slowing tobacco control efforts in Nigeria.
Present at the meeting were Barr. Michael Olaniyan, Technical Resource Person for West Africa, CTFK; Mr. Chibuike Nwokorie, Project Officer, NTCA; Mr. Paul Ashibel, Communications Officer, NTCA.
Also, present were Ms. Opeyemi Ibitoye and Mr. Abayomi Sarumi from Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa.