By Sunday Oyinloye
The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate has promised not to let Africa down.
Dr. Pate who is expected to assume the role in August 2023 is the first African to be so appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Speaking weekend in Abuja at a dinner organised in his honour by friends, Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Health said “I will do everything within my means not to let you down”
Pate disclosed further: “I know the task ahead is huge, but I feel encouraged with the goodwill messages from different parts of the world”
The newly appointed CEO thanked the government and people of Nigeria as well as all who have contributed one way or the other in the journey of his life.
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said it was not by accident that Pate was appointed the CEO of Gavi stressing that he earned the position because of his hard work and integrity.
His words” Dr. Pate deserves the position going by his track record. He is the first African to hold that position. Entrusting such position to Nigeria is an expression of faith and confidence, and also a good image for our country.
“ Gavi is lucky to have Dr. Pate, because there is no area in Public Health that he has not had his footprint”
The Minister who disclosed that vaccine manufacturing is a national security asset said with Pate at Gavi, “our chances have increased to get support for manufacturing of vaccine”
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of State for Health, Ekumankama Joseph Nkama said Pate’s footprints are in some agencies in Nigeria where he had served adding “we are confident that Dr. Pate will make Nigeria proud as the CEO of Gavi”
In his remarks, the Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe said Pate should support Nigeria to put more resources on immunization.
Oloriegbe also called on all Partners in Nigeria including UNICEF to do more by committing more resources to primary healthcare, particularly immunization.
The Co-Chair of the event, Alhaji Sule Yahaya Hamma said he has no doubt in Pate’s ability to deliver as the CEO of Gavi . This was also reechoed by the Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu Usman and the Emir of Misau , Alhaji Ahmed Suleiman who was represented by Professor Mohammed Alkali
Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Christianah Adeyeye, the first Nigerian to be elected President of African Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Professor Oladapo Alabi Ladipo, and the UNICEF Nigeria Representative, all described Pate’s appointment as a good development for Nigeria.
A veteran Journalist who is the Executive Director of International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), Moji Makanjuola said she was optimistic that the new CEO of Gavi would make Africa proud
Her words” Dr. Pate is someone I know very well. I have worked closely with him in the past, and I can testify to his intellectual capacity, administrative acumen and integrity”
The Director-General of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Asishana Okauru in his remarks said no one is in doubt that Dr. Pate will perform well as the CEO of Gavi adding that the Governors are happy with his appointment
Barewa College Old Boys and Ahamadu Bello University Alumni also described Pate as a hardworking man who has the ability to excel in any given task.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Joseph Kigbu described Pate as a humble and intelligent man stressing “we believe that under Pate’s watch, Gavi will wax stronger and more children across the globe will have access to immunization”
Pate’s friend, Dr.Muyi Aina read his profile at an event that attracted personalities from different parts of the country.