Bill Gates backs Governor Yahaya Bello’s position on need to prioritize Healthcare Infrastructure on COVID-19 Vaccines

Oyiza Ajayi

American billionaire business man and co – founder of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates has corroborated the position of Governor Yahaya Bello in his speech last month that what Nigeria needs heavy investment in Healthcare Infrastructure instead of devoting billions of naira to the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine.
The Kogi State Governor has always maintained an uncompromising position on the need to reposition the Healthcare facilities of the nation to deal with epidemics.

The renown philanthropist while responding to questions from prominent media houses across African on Tuesday said Nigeria does not need to spend too much on acquiring COVID-19 vaccines but should rather focus more on revitalizing the weak and underfunded health sector especially the primary health care centres across the country.

When asked if it was appropriate for Nigeria to spend N400billion the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had in December informed the Senate that Nigeria would require to vaccinate 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population at $8 per vaccine in the midst of other issues plaguing the health sector, Gates said, “There is no doubt that the impact of putting money into the health system particularly the primary healthcare system will be very high in terms of saving children’s lives and you are absolutely right.

“Nigeria should not divert the very limited money that it has for health into trying to pay a high price for COVID vaccines.” The Governor had told newsmen one month prior in an interview on television that the need of the nation is improved Medicare, guaranteed by state-of-the-art facilities.
The position of Bill Gates will get Nigerian authorities thinking. But will they be forced to listen to the Governor now that the truth from home has now been re-echoed from abroad?

Similarly, the UN Women has commended Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State for his efforts in ensuring the inclusiveness and greater participation of women in politics in the state.
The UN Women in a commendation letter to the governor dated January 26, 2021 and signed by UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, particularly commended the governor for giving opportunities to women to harness their contributions in governance at the local government level.

The UN Women commended the governor for building an inclusive and gender-sensitive local governance system in Kogi State through the appointment of women as vice chairpersons in all the 21 Local Government Areas of the state. “I would further like to thank you for pushing forward the global agenda on gender equality and women’s political participation in Nigeria. “In this same vein, I would be honoured to pay you a courtesy visit in the week beginning Monday 1st February 2021 to discuss opportunities for supporting the ongoing efforts of your government to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality in Kogi State, and also to explore possibilities for partnership and collaboration to support the newly-appointed women deputy LGA chairpersons to succeed in their new roles. “To facilitate follow-up interactions, UN Women would welcome the opportunity to engage with a nominated focal person from your office. The UN Women Focal Point is Ms. Chundung Ashley Dauda”, the letter said.

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