The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent over $1 billion in Nigeria, co-Chair of the Foundation, Bill Gates, said when he visited the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, in Abuja.
Mr. Gates, who is on a visit to Nigeria, met the minister with a delegation of senior officials from the foundation.
Urging the federal government to do more in the health sector, he said despite huge funding on vaccination, the results have not really been felt.
He said the country’s health care delivery system needed to be optimised by making the delivery system very efficient.
Mr. Gates said the Foundation was working with other partners to extend its current vaccine financing programme in Nigeria from five to ten years.
“Our Foundation has invested over a $1billion in Nigeria, mostly in health. We are very committed to global development. We want to discuss vaccine financing and the issue of how we can be effective as partners for the health resources to grow over time,” he said.
The minister said the Nigerian government was very committed to addressing the country’s healthcare problems through targeted spendings.
Mrs. Adeosun who said with tax-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio currently at six per cent, the government would do all within its powers to raise the tax revenue to meet its obligations to deliver an efficient healthcare system.
“As a government, we are very committed to solving it (Health care challenges). We feel 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. 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,” Mrs. Adeosun said.