By Ben AgandeÂ & Shuaib Inalegwu
The Senate has confirmed the nominations of Professor Christian Chukwu and Mr. Obadiah Ando as ministers.
Meanwhile, Ando, a nominee from Taraba State has raised alarm over the imminent collapse of Lake Nyos located in Southern Cameroun.
He predicted that Lake Nyos, which emits carbon dioxide periodically, may collapse within two and five years with grave consequences to people, animal and plants in Benue, Southern Taraba and parts of Cross River and Ebonyi states if nothing was done by the government.
It will be recalled that the United Nations in 2005 raised concerns on the dangers posed by Lake Nyos to the people of Cameroun and Nigeria, leading to prompt response from the government of Cameroon.
Expressing his fears, Ando said, â€œLake Nyos is an accident that if we do not take care will erupt in two to five years time. It will affect Southern Taraba, the whole of Benue State, Lokoja and Abakaliki. Many people will die, crops and animals will die too. The earlier we react, the better for us.â€
Ando, who was asked by the senators on ways to reduce poverty, urged the government to embark on integrated rural development and resuscitation of abandoned river basins in the country.
According to him: â€œThe best way to arrest uneven income distribution is for the government to go for integrated rural development approach. That is where our people are. It will arrest the problem.â€
Professor Chukwu, in his response to questions from the senators, vowed to stop Nigerians from seeking medical services abroad.
He promised to work within the time available to reduce infant and maternal mortality rate, eradicate polio and malaria as well as reduce the menace of HIV/Aids.
â€œI will like to ensure that polio is fully eradicated. We are one of the four countries that polio has not been completely eradicated and the only one in Africa. I also have a plan where Nigerians will not be in the rush to seek medical attention outside Nigeria by providing access to health services.â€
Professor Chukwu also joined the fray in the on going controversy on who is most fit to head the Ministry of Health.
While arguing that the Ministry should be the exclusive preserve of medical doctors, Professor Chukwu saidÂ since the Minister of Health doubles as the Chief Medical Adviser to the President, such a person must be a medical doctor with the requisite qualifications.
â€œOn the surface, it will seem that it is a position that any good politician with experience in administration and management can head. But because the Minister of Health doubles as the Chief Medical Adviser to President, he should have requisite qualification of a medical doctor.â€