The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it has invested over $2 billion in the last 10 years of its operation in the Nigeria.
The Country Director of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Jeremie Zoungrana disclosed this on Tuesday, when he led a team of the Foundation on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Atiku Bagudu in Abuja.
He said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation considered Nigeria as one of its important partners in Africa and has been in the country for more than 10 years, doing several programs on polio vaccine and other health issues like malaria.
He also said that the Foundation has plans to improve upon the health of Nigerians because it believed that healthy populace will contribute immensely to economic growth of the country.
“This visit is to connect, work with the minister and to draw from his wisdom. “We want to make sure part of Nigerians’ problems are shared with us. Because of this we have invested $2 billion on Nigeria in the last few years.
“We are going to expand our investment and continue to strengthen malaria and polio vaccines and also access to maternal and child health.”
“Another area if interest is agriculture and food security. We will initiate plans to empower Nigerian farmers with agro processing inputs.
“We are equally going to prioritise women and gender equality.”
She commending the federal government for its efforts in addressing health challenges in the country, Zoungrana, however, charged the federal government to prioritise somebody and children in resources allocation.
He also thanked the federal government for facilitating their operation in Nigeria.
In his response, the minister thanked the Foundation for helping Nigeria in addressing some of her numerous health challenges, ranging from polio eradication and other maternal and child health issues.
He urged the Foundation to further assist the country in unraveling the root causes of the health challenges bedeviling the country with a view to nipping the in the bud.
The minister said that about 30% of the population might facing malnutrition if urgent steps were not taken to address the shortage of malnutrition in the country.
He however, assured the Foundation of his desire to cooperate with it to achieve its objectives in Nigeria.
“The ministry stands to cooperate with the Foundation. Feel free to collaborate with us, as the administration is willing to mobilise all interested partners to give Nigerians quality health.
“Be assured of our access and availability for evidenced-based data that can be used to generate growth and needed impact.”