President Muhammadu Buhari played host to Bill Gates and Alhaji Aliko Dangote at the Presidential Villa. The president met the duo on Wednesday, March 21.
Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is visiting Nigeria to see first-hand the progress the country is making on primary healthcare provision, polio eradication, nutrition and financial inclusion.
He will be asking partners to prioritise supporting Nigeria’s poorest people to ensure a sustainable and inclusive economic future, and allow the county to meet its ambitious growth and development agenda.
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Gates, whose foundation has invested more than $1.6 billion in Nigeria to date, is meeting with government officials, and civil society and private sector stakeholders in Abuja and Lagos.
Top of his agenda will be discussions around what can be done to accelerate Nigeria’s progress, and how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation can continue to partner in health, agriculture and financial inclusion to support Nigeria’s goals.
Dangote, chairman of the Dangote Foundation, is accompanying Bill Gates on this visit as their two foundations continue to collaborate in Nigeria.
The Gates Foundation works with partners in more than 45 African countries to reduce poverty and improve health. Some of the major areas of investment include agriculture, maternal and child health, nutrition, family planning, and financial services for the poor. Between 2001 and 2016, the foundation invested more than $9 billion in Africa.
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Legit.ng had reported that Gates decried the unavailability of philanthropists in the area of healthcare in Nigeria.
He however, said that Dangote, has been generous with both his time and resources, adding that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, needs a lot of partners in Nigeria.
Gates stated this in an interview he granted Vanguard, in which he also disclosed that just this week, he and Dangote spent six hours on video conferences with six of the northern states where they twice a year, check in with them and look at their primary healthcare quality in terms of the staff, the location, the supply chain and the results they are getting in terms of vaccination and other interventions.
Meanwhile, Bill Gates and Dangote on Wednesday, March 21, signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six northern state governors on improved access to immunisation in Nigeria.
The governors are Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto; Kashim Shettima, Borno; Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano; Muhammed Abubakar, Bauchi, and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, while Yobe Gov. Ibrahim Geidam was represented by Dr Bello Kawu at the signing ceremony in Sokoto.
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