by Oge Okonkwo
The Minister of State for Health Dr. Ali Pate, resigned on Wednesday in Abuja.
His voluntary resignation has been accepted by President Goodluck Jonathan and this was disclosed by Dr. Reuben Abati to the State House correspondents as his resignation takes immediate effect.
Reports say Pate was leaving the Goodluck Jonaathan cabinet to take up a position as professor in Duke University’s Global Health Institute, USA.
He said in his new capacity, he would participate in a university-wide Africa initiative and would also serve as Senior Adviser to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation based in Washington DC.
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Pate, however, offered to continue to serve the Jonathan’s administration as honorary advisor on the polio eradication initiative and Save one million lives of Women and Children initiative which he was in charge of.
“As we have discussed, I wish to offer the continuation of my service on part time basis as Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication and Public Private Coalition on Saving one million live initiative.
“If you agree, in fulfilment of my previous commitment to see to the conclusion of these important national priorities, this may entail an honorary advisory role reporting directly to you progress at least on quarterly basis,’’ he said.
Abati, said that in accepting the minister’s resignation, the President was “highly elated that his star-studded cabinet was attracting required global attention.’’
He said that the President saw the appointment as a plus for the administration and the country.
Abati said Jonathan commended Pate for the integrity and competence he brought on board while carrying out his duties first as the Chief Executive of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and later as a minister.
He recalled that another cabinet member, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was one of those shortlisted for the position of the World Bank’s President in 2012.
“The cabinet is full of very distinguished men and women, people with not only national, but also international recognition.
“The President congratulated the minister and accepted his offer to continue to serve on a part-time basis as honorary adviser.
“It is a positive development that we have people who are recognised globally,’’ he said.
Pate, from Bauchi State, had resigned his appointment from the World Bank Office in 2008, to come back home to join the public service after 15 years in the Diaspora.
He served first, as the Chief Executive of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and as cabinet minister in the past two years with the portfolio as Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Health.