Launch of the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria – Speakers

Launch of the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria

24-25 July 2017
Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja

Speaker Profiles

Distinguished Senator Olubukola Abubakar “Bukola” Saraki

Distinguished Senator Olubukola Abubakar “Bukola” Saraki is the President of the Senate of Nigeria since 2015. Previously he was Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. He was first elected to the Senate in April 2011, representing the Kwara Central senatorial district, and re-elected in the March 2015 elections. Senator (Dr.) Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Senator of Kwara Central, has experienced great success in both the private sector and public service of Nigeria.

Born on 19 December 1962, Senator Saraki was educated in both Nigeria and the UK, qualified and practiced as a medical doctor at Rush Green Hospital in London. A young Dr. Saraki decided to return to Nigeria in 1989 where he worked in the financial sector for nearly a decade until he rose to the position of Executive Director where he oversaw corporate development and expansion programmes within the financial industry.

In recognition of his experience and professionalism, the Federal Government of Nigeria appointed him as Special Assistant to the President on Budget in 2000 where he was responsible for preparing the 2000/2001 National BudgetHis transformational programs have been praised and emulated within and outside Nigeria, such as his community health insurance scheme, environmental ‘Clean and Green’ scheme, agricultural transformation by turning Kwara State from a net importer to a net exporter of food through the Zimbabwean farmer’s project.

Impressed with his good performance during his tenure as Executive Governor of Kwara State (May 2003 to May 2011), his achievements have been noticed and acknowledged both locally and internationally by private and public institutions across the globe which earned him series of awards including: ‘Governor of the Year’ by This Day Newspapers (2004); ‘Best Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development 2004/05’ by City People, KSNG; Leadership Award in appreciation of commitments and outstanding leadership qualities (2005); Harvard Business School Africa Club Award 2005; Kenneth Kaunda Foundation Best Governor in Africa 2006; Osun State Broadcast Corporation Man of the Year 2006; ‘African Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development’ by African Union Media Group in Pretoria, South Africa; Nigeria Referee Association Grand Patron 2007; This Day Newspaper Best Governor on Food Security 2008; ‘The Friend of Nigerian Youth; Doctor of Science and Public Administration Award’ by University of Port Harcourt for his Administration’s focus on Agriculture; Life Fellowship of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, (ANCOPSS) 2009; Outstanding Governor on Energy 2009 by the Nigerian Compass; Emerging Tiger of Nigeria (Leadership Award by This Day Newspaper) 2010; Institute of Chartered Accountants Award of Excellence 2010; Nigerian Bar Association Award of Excellence; Award of Excellence in Development of Education and Health care delivery in Nigeria by the College of Medicine, University of Lagos 2012.

His legislative interest also includes the area of Health, Agriculture, Education, National economy and Environmental policy. Senator Saraki is also a member of the Senate Committees on Capital markets and Finance.

Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara

Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara was born in December 1967 in Bauchi State, where he had his primary and secondary education before heading to the University of Jos in 1982 to study Law. His education began in 1976 at Gwarangah Primary School in Bauchi state. In 1982, he proceeded to the Bauchi Teachers’ College for his secondary education, and obtained a Grade II Teachers’ Certificate in 1987. In 1988, he went on to the University of Jos, Plateau State, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Law (LLB Hons.) degree in 1992. He then proceeded to law school and was eventually called to the Bar in 1993. He later obtained a Masters (LLM) in International Commercial Law at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. In 2006, he attended a course on Managing and Leading Strategic Change and in 2013, he completed another course on Negotiation at the Oxford University. In 2014, he went on to the Harvard Kennedy School for yet another course on Leadership.

After graduating from the Bauchi Teachers’ College, he took up employment in April 1988 as a teacher at the ATBU Staff School in Bauchi. In 1993, during the mandatory National Youth Service Corps, he served at NCCF, Akwa Ibom state, and upon completion of the NYSC programme in 1994, he went into private legal practice until 2005 when he was appointed Special Assistant to the then Minister of State for Transport.

He held this position until 2006, when he decided to contest to represent the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa constituency at the Federal House of Representatives. His bid proved successful and he has been a member of the House since 2007.He currently represents Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa Federal Constituency, and is serving his third term as a federal lawmaker, after first being elected in 2007.

Senator  Olanrewaju Adeyemi Tejuoso

Senator  Olanrewaju Adeyemi Tejuoso is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health. Senator Olanrewaju Adeyemi Tejuoso is a medical doctor and a prince of the dynasty of His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. AdedapoTejuoso, CON, Karunwi III,Oranmiyan,Osile of Oke-OnaEgba and OloriAdetoun Tejuoso. His elementary education started at the University of Lagos Staff School in 1967 and was later at Igbobi College, Lagos in 1974 for his secondary education. In 1981, he was admitted into University of Lagos where He obtained his MBBS and later accomplished his specialties in telemedicine and medical computing abroad. He has also attended series of professional courses, conferences, and seminars both at home and abroad.

Senator Lanre Tejuoso was the immediate past Commissioner for Youths and Sports after successfully completing same portfolios at the Environment Ministry and Special Duties ministry overseeing the power and water resources department in the last Ogun State Government cabinet. With his experience in three ministries in the government of His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun CON, FCA, he was part of the success story of last Ogun State government. Some of the accomplishments whilst passing through the ministries include, the unprecedented distribution of 500 transformers to all parts of the state and management of a 7MW power plant, modernization of the June 12 Cultural Center, introduction of solar power to villages, upgrading of the major dam serving the water needs of Abeokuta, introduction of the environmental Marshalls, modernization of the MKO stadium etc.

Senator Lanre Tejuoso cut his professional teeth at the Nigerian Ports Authority Medical Hospital where he served the nation for his compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme. After his service year he had a brief stint at Teju Hospital, now IyaodeBisoyeTejuoso Hospital, where he practiced as a medical officer. He is a dynamic medical practitioner and entrepreneur with over twenty-five years business acumen spanning critical sectors of the economy.

Prof. Isaac Adewole

Prof. Isaac Adewole is a professor of gynecology and obstetrics. Since November 2015 he has been the Minister of Health in the Cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. He is a former vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan and president of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer. Prior to his appointment as the 11th substantive vice-chancellor of the university, he served as provost at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, the largest and oldest medical school in Nigeria. His research interest is in the area of human papillomavirus, HIV, and gynaecologic oncology, a specialised field of medicine that focuses on cancers of the female reproductive system, including ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, cervical cancer, and vulvar cancer. Adewole is a member of the governing council of Adeleke University and chairs the National Panel on Cervical Cancer Control Policy. He is the only Nigerian professor appointed as member of the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He was appointed to serve as a member of the international advisory board of the African Cancer Institute, a comprehensive cancer centre in sub-Saharan black Africa.

In 2014, he celebrated his 60th birthday. In a public lecture held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan it was recalled how traducers tried relentlessly to sabotage his appointment as the vice-chancellor of the institution in 2010. The chairman of the 60th birthday celebration was Wole Olanipekun, a legal luminary, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, and a past Pro-Chancellor of the university. He described Adewole as a “cat not only with nine lives, but one with 18 lives, who surmounted all the travails and conspiratorial petitions hatched against him by his traducers.” In 2012, he was elected as a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, the apex academic organisation in Nigeria. He was inducted into the academy along with Professor Mojeed Olayide Abass, a Nigerian professor of computer science at the University of Lagos, and Professor Akinyinka Omigbodun, the president of the West African College of Surgeons and former provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

In 2014, he was appointed as a member of Adeleke University’s governing council and in June 2015 he was appointed as a member of Pan-African University’s governing council. Pan-African University is a post-graduate training and research network of university nodes in five regions, supported by the African Union.On 28 March 2015, he was appointed as Independent National Electoral Commission’s Collation Officer in Lagos State for the Nigerian general election, 2015 and on 11 April, he served as returning officer for the Lagos State gubernatorial election.On 11 November 2015 he was appointed Minister for Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Hon. Dcn. Chike Okafor

Hon. Dcn. Chike Okafor was born in the year 1972. He attended Imo state University where he earned his BSc. and MSc. He also attended ESUT Business School where he earned his FNIM (Fellow Nigerian Institute of Management) award. He represents Ehime Mbano/Obowo/Ihitte Uboma Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Federal Republic of Nigeria. He serves as the chairman   House of Representatives Committee on Health services. His legislative interests span areas such as finance, appropriation, and banking as well.  His passion for the health sector is a major part of his legislative focus as he has written and delivered papers on Universal Health Coverage as well as the challenges of healthcare service delivery and medical tourism in Nigeria.

Senator Ita Enang

Ita Solomon Enang is the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate). He represented Itu and Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State in the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2011. He was elected Senator for the Uyo (North East) Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom in the 2011 Federal elections. Senator Ita Enang was appointed as the SSA to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate) on 27 August 2015.






Moji Makanjuola MFR

Moji Makanjuola (MFR) is a Prolific TV producer, Director and Anchor person with several world class documentaries in her stable.  An ardent advocate of specialization in formal reportage, she has over 35years’ experience in the media field and she is well versed in media consultancy projects for international organizations including UNIDO, UNFPA, UN Women, Bloomberg/John Hopkins University Project building capacity for wives of traditional rulers.

Her specialty areas are in women empowerment, education, community development of the underprivileged, youth and children with special needs. Her life mission has been to use her field–journalism to contribute to the long term vision of remaking Nigeria to be not only a model but to promote an overreaching environment that is capable of shaping Nigeria’s rebirth and character.

Apart from the many publications on the positive role of media in nation building, to her credit (from Beijing Conference to date in every sphere of journalism), she is an accomplished author whose book ‘Health Journalism –  A journey with Moji Makanjuola is on the Abuja Literary Society’s Best seller list.

Moji’s works have been recognized both Nationally and Internationally, making her a Fellow of the CDC Knight Journalism Fellowship, Health Correspondent of Our Time by the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and National Honorary member of the Federal Republic (MFR).

Currently, she is the Executive Director of the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), a non-governmental organization. She Produces and Anchors ‘Bridges’ and ‘Health Reports’ programmes,  broadcast weekly on the network and international services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Dr. Gafar Alawode

Dr. Gafar Alawode serves as Chief of Party for HFG Nigeria, formerly Deputy Chief of Party. Dr. Alawode is an experienced public health practitioner and a seasoned program manager. He has managed several donor-funded development projects in Nigeria and other developing countries. He began his career in international health with a British INGO, Merlin, as the Coordinator for the DFID-funded MCH and Primary Healthcare project in Liberia in 2006. He then went on to work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), managing a health systems strengthening, HIV, and TB, project funded by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Population and Refugee Migration (BPRM), in Liberia. Dr. Alawode then became Nigeria Country Manager for Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health (LATH), where he was responsible for program coordination and development. He also managed a Global Fund Malaria project in Nigeria in the capacity of Program Manager and Acting Program Director. He was later engaged as the Team Leader for the Kaduna State team under Abt Associates’ DFID-funded Partnership for Transforming Health System II (PATHS2). Dr. Alawode obtained a Master’s in Tropical Medicine from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, after acquiring a degree in Medicine and Surgery in Nigeria.


Dr. Fatai A. Aremu

Fatai A. Aremu is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is the Director of Policy and Legislative Advocacy with the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH), a project anchored by development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), Abuja, Nigeria. In that position, he has coordinated and conducted a number of studies and top-notch policy engagement on health budget, health policy and legislation.

He is the recipient of several awards and grants including Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship, IDRC/PASGR, Tetfund, IFRA, APSA Professional Development Grant, among others. He is Consultant on the UNDP/DGD Parliamentary Ethics Project. He is the author of Asymmetrical Foreign Policy Behaviour of Japan and China (2011) and co-editor (with H. A. Saliu) of Introduction to International Relations (2012). His works have appeared in Africa Today, African and Asian Studies, Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, Asia Pacific World, etc.

He is an alumnus of several advanced methodology training programs including the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-method Research (IQMR) organized by the Consortium for Qualitative Research Methods and the Moynihan Institute for Global Affairs at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, New York, USA, among others. He is currently a senior instructor on the Advanced Research Design (ARD) for PASGR, Nairobi-Kenya.


Nneka Orji-Achugo

A Health Economist and a leader committed to improving healthcare delivery in resource constrained settings. Nneka Orji-Achugo works with the Federal Ministry of Health, in the Department of Health Planning Research and Statistics. Nneka believes in equity and fairness in health services delivery.

She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) Undergraduate degree. She has pursed a Graduate Certificate in Economics as a lead up to a Masters in Health Economics and Policy from the prestigious University of Adelaide in Australia having received the Australian Awards in Africa in 2013.  As a result of her quest for strategies to enhance equity in healthcare delivery, she has undertaken and published research works in high profile international journals such as Health Policy and Planning, Australian Health Review; as well as presenting her work in international conferences. Nneka is a PhD candidate and is working on issues concerning Political Economy in healthcare Financing and Consumer Preferences.  Some of her works include; the Cost effectiveness of Option B+ in developing Countries, Access to Water and Sanitation in Ebola Affected Countries: Gaps and Opportunities for the post 2015 development Agenda among others.

She currently anchors the Joint learning network for Universal Health Coverage at the FMOH. She is also passionate about designing cost effective strategies for reaching out to all stakeholders in the UHC space because she believes UHC is everybody’s business.

Somto Mbelu

Somto Mbelu serves as the USAID Health Finance and Governance project Nigeria’s Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist. Somto is a communication and media development professional with interest in research, development projects and management of business operations, as well as the efficient organization of people with common goals and objectives to provide solutions to developmental problems. Prior to working with the HFG project, he worked with Himalayas Broadcasting Limited as the assistant producer. Somto has also worked for the African Youth Organization as Coordinator of South Eastern Operations, and also as the Team Lead, Creative Leadership Program, and Guardians of the Nation International (Gotin). He has presented different youth capacity building developmental radio programs on the Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria (FRCN). Somto holds a BSc in Business Administration and Management from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. Somto is also currently supporting Lagos, Cross River, Rivers, Bauchi and Sokoto through the development of media and communication strategy for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) He also authored a self-help book titled “Pathways to Uncommon Greatness.”

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