By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Niger State Government has reaffirmed it’s commitment to pay it’s counterpart fund of N50 million into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation intervention fund for primary healthcare development of the state’s health care delivery sector.
The Bill and Melinda Gate foundation had offered to commit N50 million into a common basket for the development of primary health care in Niger state as a development partner if the state government could make a similar financial commitment to the common pull to make it N100 million special fund for primary health care delivery services.
Consequent upon this, last year, officials of the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundations were in Minna, the Niger state capital to tie all knots for the joint partnership between it and the state.
The foundation is interested in improving the lots of primary health care delivery facilities to check infant mortality rates especially in rural areas in states across the country.
The Niger state Deputy Governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso said while inaugurating the stearing committee for the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation special fund for primary healthcare development in the state that the state would not allow the window of opportunity offered by the foundation to slip off from it’s grip.
He assured that the state government would ensure it remits it’s counterpart fund to draw down the donor contribution from the foundation.
Ahmef Mohammed Ketso is also the state’s Chairman of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, (PHCDA). He charged the members of the starring committee to work assiduously to ensure that the intervention funds gets to the ultimate target for which it is meant for particularly those at the grassroots.
The Deputy Governor said the state government was determined to see the partnership between it and the foundation yields the desired results.
He said the present administration in the state would leverage on the windows opened by development partners for the development of the state. He said the state government would therefore ensure immediate release of it’s counterparts fund of N50 million to the basket fund to ensure the take off of the programme.
The state’s Commissioner of Health and Health Services, Dr. Mustapha Mohammed Jibril said the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation was interested in partnering the state in developing the state’s primary health care development agency for an efficient health care delivery at primary health care level.
He said both the state and the foundation were expected to contribute N50 million each into a common basket to make the N100 million special intervention fund for the development of the state’s primary health care services.