Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are currently meeting in Abuja to review polio eradication intervention in the country.
The one-day interactive session was immediately followed by a meeting with the World Bank on the ongoing development engagement across the 36 states.
Only in January, at the launch of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (2018-2022) and the roll out of the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Funds, the Gates Foundation pledged to commit $75 million to immunisation intervention in Nigeria over the next five years.
It said it was impressed with the improvement of immunisation activities in the country and will be using the money it pledged to strengthen immunisation, with the expectation that the Federal Government will honour its commitment to the immunisation basket fund.
In 2018, the Foundation had paid off a $76 million loan Nigeria taken from Japan to aid the fight polio.
The loan was taken in 2014 and repayments were due to begin in 2018.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had said it agreed to repay the loan after Nigeria met the condition of achieving more than 80 percent vaccination coverage in at least one round each year in very high risk areas across 80 percent of the country’s local government areas.
The loan will be repaid over a period of 20 years.