The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has reported investing over $2 billion in Nigeria over the past decade.
Jeremie Zoungrana, the Country Director of the Foundation, made this information known during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to Zoungrana, Nigeria plays a vital role as a partner in Africa for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been active in the country for more than a decade.
He mentioned that the Foundation is commitment to improving the health of Nigerians, recognizing the positive impact a healthy population can have on the country’s economic growth.
In his words, the goal of the visit is to foster collaboration and share the responsibility of addressing Nigeria’s challenges.
Zoungrana told Bagudu that the Foundation had invested $2 billion in Nigeria in recent years and planned to expand their investments, particularly in malaria and polio vaccines, maternal and child health, agriculture, food security, and gender equality.
“We will initiate plans to empower Nigerian farmers with agro processing inputs. We are equally going to prioritise women and gender equality,” he added.
Zoungrana also appreciated the President Bola Tinubu-led administration’s efforts in addressing health challenges and urged prioritizing the well-being of women and children in resource allocation.
In response, the minister expressed gratitude for the Foundation’s contributions in addressing health issues, including polio eradication. He encouraged the Foundation to help identify the root causes of health challenges in the country and emphasized the urgency of addressing malnutrition to prevent a potential crisis affecting 30% of the population.
Bagudu pledged the ministry’s willingness to collaborate with the Foundation, offering access to data for evidence-based decisions and a shared commitment to improving healthcare in Nigeria