Bill Gates is reportedly willing to invest N9billion ($50m) annually on the Nigerian health sector.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuosho made this revelation in a recent chat with The Punch Newspaper.
On meeting Gates, Senator Tejuosho disclosed that he had attended a World Bank Programme in Washington DC, when he and the Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole were invited for a sideline meeting which was organised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Senator representing Ogun State Central Senatorial district further said that it was at the meeting that he met with Bill Gates, who revealed his plans to invest in the nutrition of African children for the first 1000 days (from foetus to two years.)
"In focusing on African children’s nutrition, he wants the beneficiary countries to also participate in the funding. If he wants to give Nigeria $50m, he would expect the country to contribute a counterpart funding of $5m. He has notified us to put counterpart funding in our budget to ensure that we have our counterpart funding ready when he wants to start funding the health sector in Nigeria," Senator Tejuosho explained.
Speaking further, he said, 'I have invited him to come and address the National Assembly. I asked him to come to Nigeria and address a joint session of the two chambers of our federal parliament – that is the House of Representatives and the Senate. This would enable him to further emphasise the importance of the minimum percentage that should be in the budget for health...'
On the readiness of Nigeria to focus on the project, Tejuosho said he's already in talks with the Bill Gates' office and working towards a convenient time so as to work on implementing the project in the 2017 budget.