Shake Up in Health Ministry


I have never been been convinced that “restructuring” on its own solves any problem in any organisation. But at least the new Minister of Health is not spending as much time as the president spent on his appointment.

After 7 months in quasi limbo….he is changing things around. We are incurable optimists about the future of the Nigerian health sector. No doubt one reason is that you just cannot imagine it could get any worse.

While we wait for a vision statement and a strategy on how to achieve his vision….find below the change in personnel.

The first surprise is Dr Abdulsalami Nasidi, Director of Public Health for just 5 months which he took over from Dr Ngozi Njepuome has been reassigned to the vague “Special Duties Dept”, while Dr. Jonathan Y. Jiya mni, erstwhile Director of Family Health now becomes the Director of Public Health.

Other changes – Dr. Mrs. P. Momah replaces him in the Family Health Dept.

Dr. Mrs. Folake Ayo has been moved from the National Blood Transfusion Service to become the Director of Hospital Services

Dr R.E Akerele-Nwaha will head the Food and Drugs Dept

Dr. Mohammed Lecky will continue in his post as the Director and Head of the Health Planning, Research and Statistics Dept.

Public Private Partnership which will be led by Dr. Tolu Fakeye

Tertiary Institutions Commission under Dr. J Adetunji

States Coordination Team made up of Dr. M Anibueze, Dr. W.T. Balami and Dr. Toyin Salawu who will be the Convener of the Team.

There is also a new Task Force on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which will similarly operate under the direct supervision of the Minister consisting of the Heads of the departments as previously constituted for the three diseases viz; Dr T. Sofola (Malaria), Dr. B. Coker (HIV/AIDS) and Dr. M. Kabir (Tuberculosis)…

You might wonder why we have gone into the trouble of stating all the names on this blog. The reason – YOU. These appointments are made to serve the best interests of Nigerians. You have a right to know. You should hold them accountable!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. I believe it is very important to mention names because that way the ministry is not faceless. However, were these people trained for their jobs? I know one of them, Dr M. Anibeze, has been into medical administration for almost 14 years. I hope this new bunch will do a good job not a heck of a job.
    I wonder why there is a foos and drug department separate from NAFDAQ (yet my pickin slipped through)

  2. Thanks for sharing these names. It would be particularly interesying to learn why the changes were made and what makes these individuals particularly good for the positions they are in. Not that I have any specific doubts, its just that well, these things are good to know.

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