Bill Gates Foundation Invests $1bn in Nigeria’s Healthcare System

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has so far invested over $1 billion in Nigeria’s health care system.

The Co-Chair of the Foundation, Bill Gates made the disclosure in Abuja wednesday when he led a delegation to a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

Calling on the federal government to do more in the health sector by making the delivery of healthcare very efficient, he stated that while funds had been spent for vaccination, the impact was not really felt as the health care delivery system needed to be optimised.

The Foundation, Gates said, is working with other of its partners to extend its current vaccine financing programme in Nigeria from five to a 10 years period.

He said: “Our foundation has invested over a billion dollars in Nigeria mostly in health and we are very committed to global development.

“We want to discuss vaccine financing and the issue of how we can be effective as a partners for the health resources to grow over time.”

In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. KemivAdeosun, said the federal gvernment was very committed to addressing the health care challenges in the country through targeted spendings.

She said with tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio currently at six per cent, the government would do everything possible to increase the tax revenue to meet its obligations in the area of delivering an efficient health care system.

She said: “As a government we are very committed to solving it (Health care challenges). We feel that there is enough potential revenue and actual revenue in this country to fund these priorities and they must be funded.
“We are very committed to that from domestic revenue mobilisation perspective because we have the lowest tax to GDP ratio in the world and we are doing something about it.

“We are trying to get more people involved in tax payment so that we can fund basic health care. There is no way around it because no matter how much support we get from donors, fundamental we must have structures to be able to meet these basic obligations.”