The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, met with Microsoft Founder, Bill Gates and African business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to proffer solutions to financing healthcare in Nigeria.
Saraki who was accompanied by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, had breakfast with the business magnates and philanthropists at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
Top on the agenda of the meeting were: Polio eradication, sustainable health financing and primary health care strengthening.
Our correspondent reports that the meeting was also attended by other federal lawmakers, the Nigerian Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and other international non-governmental organizations and foundations.
The meeting aims to strategise on how to: “Provide legislative leaders with a good understanding of the Gates Foundation’s engagement in Nigeria, and work with the Dangote Foundation;
“Discuss ways to ensure continued polio commitment;
“Share information on long-term vaccine financing challenges.
“Hear thoughts from legislative leadership on government commitment and leadership to primary health care strengthening, and discuss possible areas to work together.”
Speaking at the meeting, the American business magnate, Gates, commended Saraki for his efforts in the healthcare systems in Nigeria especially in the fight against polio.
Gates particularly hailed the Senate President for his role in 2009 as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) saying that his intervention then was a “turning point” in the fight against polio in Nigeria.
Some of the talking points of the meeting include: “Recognition of the important role that Nigerian legislators play in improving healthcare delivery in Nigeria through appropriate legislation and accountability;
“Updates on polio in Nigeria and discussion of ways to ensure continued effort and appropriate resourcing.
“Gates and Dangote Foundation investments in immunization, and challenges Nigeria may face in long-term financing.”