The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020, to coordinate and oversee Nigeria’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The Task Force is tasked with the following mandates:
- Provide overall policy direction, guidance, and continuous support to the National Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the NCDC, and other Ministries and Government Agencies involved in response activities, and ensure their coordination towards a single set of national strategic objectives.
- Enable the delivery of national and state-level outbreak control priorities which include;
- Effective and safe treatment centres to ensure capacity to manage outbreaks
- Coordination of National and State Emergency Operation Centres
- Response commodities for case management, infection prevention and control, diagnostics, etc
- Sensitization and awareness campaigns for the general public on prevention measures and response activities
- Diagnostic laboratories and deployment strategies
- Review and make approval recommendations for implementing country-wide or regional non-pharmaceutical interventions if and when needed; such as school closures, suspension of large gatherings, implementation of social distancing, flight limitations etc.
- Provide recommendations for the provision of direct funding and technical support to states and local governments to strengthen their preparedness capacity and mobilise human, material and financial resources from within and outside the country for effective national and state-level preparedness.
- Define targets and monitor the progress in the delivery of these targets to meet the minimum requirements for a satisfactory performance and use this to advise the Presidency on the overall national response to COVID-19.
- Coordinate Nigeria’s engagement with other countries’ bilateral and multilateral bodies, international organisations to share lessons, best practices, and technical assistance.
- Keep the public abreast of strategic progress with Nigeria’s response, and emerging developments regarding preparedness and response.
The Presidential Task Force has the following functional areas that implement its objectives:
- PTF National Pandemic Response Center (NPRC) Coordination
- Epidemiology & Surveillance
- Risk Communication & Community Engagement
- Security, Logistics & Mass Care
- Points of Entry
- Resource Mobilization
- Infection, Prevention & Control
- Case Management
- Finance Monitoring & Compliance
To effectively achieve the mandate of the PTF, a National COVID-19 Response Centre (NCRC), has been established within the PTF. Headed by the National Coordinator of the PTF, the NCRC provides strategic guidance and coordinates the efforts of multi-sectoral and multilateral actors as well as resources involved in the national response to ensure proper synergy and efficiency. To this end, the NCRC has developed a comprehensive National COVID-19 Multisectoral Pandemic Response Plan, which is to serve as a blueprint for a coordinated national strategy to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.