The Minister of State, Health, Dr. Muhammed Pate, has voluntarily resigned from the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The resignation which has since been accepted by the President takes effect from Wednesday.
In his resignation letter dated July 22 and addressed to Jonathan, the minister said he was leaving the cabinet to take up the position of Professor in Duke University's Global Health Institute, USA.
He said in this new capacity, he would participate in a university-wide Africa initiative and will also serve as Senior Adviser to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation based in Washington DC.
Pate however offered the continuation of his service on part-time basis as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication and the public-private coalition for Saving One Million Lives Initiative.
"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 the public-private coalition for Saving One Million Lives Initiative, if you agree, in fulfillment of my previous commitments to see to conclusion of these important national priorities. This may entail an honorary advisory role reporting directly to you progress at least on quarterly basis," he wrote.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, told journalists at the State House that in accepting the minister's resignation, Jonathan was highly elated that his star-studded cabinet was attracting required global attention.
According to him the President saw his appointment as a plus for the administration and the country.
Abati said President 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 and later as a minister.
Presidential spokesman said it would be 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 last year.
He said, "The minister's new commitment is seen by the President and his cabinet as a good news. It is a further proof that this cabinet is full of stars.
"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 honourary adviser.
"It is a positive development that we have people who are recognised globally. Pate has served this country for five years, first as the Chief Executive of NHPDH and later Minister of State, Health. His work is appreciated worldwide. His appointment a plus for the administration and the country."