Nigeria and Japan have signed agreement on a project involving 14.2 million US dollar grant to strengthen the diagnostic capacity of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.
The minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma said this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Akpandem James, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Udoma exchanged note on the project with the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Yukata Kikuta while the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole witnessed the ceremony.
The total cost of the project is 1,580,000,000 Japanese Yen, equivalent to 14.24 million US dollars.
Mr Udoma said the project was in line with the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, which has ‘investing in our people’ as one of its three broad objectives.
“Under the ERGP we are committed to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of healthcare.
“We are therefore appreciative of the Japanese Government for supporting this project which is directed at improving healthcare in Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, Nigerian Government is determined to address emerging public health threats whenever they occur.
He stressed Nigeria’s commitment to achieving sustainable economic development as set out in the ERGP and appreciated the support of the Japanese government.
Mr Udoma noted that this was not the first time the Japanese Government would be intervening in critical sectors in Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that the new project would enlarge the capacity of the NCDC to diagnose and treat serious cases.
“The health sector is grateful to Japan for this gesture,” the minister said.
Mr Kikuta said that Japan had over the years built and maintained consistent partnership with Nigeria towards strengthening and improving Nigeria’s health sector.
According to the ambassador, it is a common fact that access to health systems is a key to improving the quality of life of a people and promoting a country’s development.
“NCDC plays an essential role in controlling infectious diseases but suffers from a shortage of containment facilities and instruments required for the safe, rapid and accurate handling of infectious diseases.
“Health sector in Nigeria is vulnerable and its ability to deliver services is limited.
“In order to take domestic and international counter measures against infectious diseases specified in the national health policy, it is necessary to expand the building facility and equipment to strengthen the capacity for diagnosis and research of NCDC,” he said.