President of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates, yesterday called on the federal government to partner with him in his pet project for vaccine financing to improve delivery in the country.
Gates, who led a delegation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adoosun in Abuja yesterday, said the delegation was there to discuss issues of funding in the health sector and vaccine financing space. He said he was in the minister’s office to seek her support and commitment of the federal government to continue to partner with him in his pet project for vaccine financing.
“We are here to have strong momentum we require to donor support including our banking to meet the long term plans,” he said.
Gates said his foundation has over $1 billion investment in Nigeria in its partnership with 10 states of the federation, majorly on health. “Our foundation has invested well up to a billion dollar in Nigeria mostly in health. We are very committed to stay involved,” he said.
In her response, the minister of finance appreciated the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the support it has been giving to Nigeria. Adeosun said she would rather call the foundation a partner rather than donor.
The minister said the federal government is committed to solving the issues around the health sector despite its large population which she said is difficult to calibrate. She said it’s a challenge for the administration. “But as a government we are very committed to solving it, she said, adding, “We believe that there is enough potential revenue and actual revenue in this country to fund this priority. And they must be funded.”
The minister who said many of the vaccines are imported in Nigeria, announced that the ministers of health is working to resurrect local vaccine production, which she said is a major cost factor. “We have to make sure that no only do we have the money, but use the money well to deliver value,” she stated.
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