Mr Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote and six Northern Nigerian Governors have signed a memorandum of understanding on improved access to immunization across Northern Nigeria.
The Governors includes Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto , Kashim Shettima of Borno, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi, Ibrahim Geidem of Yobe and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna signed the MoU in Sokoto State North-western Nigeria.
Delivering the opening remarks, Governor Tambuwal said all the states are committed to improving vaccine availability, encouraging stronger community engagement and securing financing.
“In addition, we will ensure strong monitoring and evaluation while at the same time, accountability mechanisms will be put in place,” Governor Tambuwal said.
Also Speaking at the event, Mr Bill Gates said all partners are committed to ensuring maximum number of children are reached, adding that the MoU’s are intended to enable states achieve targeted coverage.
“Routine immunization is crucial to ensuring that every child is protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, helping them achieve their potential and live full, productive lives. We are ready to support the states in reaching the targets set out in the MoUs,” Gates said.
Mr Gates commended all the signatory-states for their commitment, adding that Nigeria is so far on the right track not just in efforts to fight polio, but on achieving targets in routine immunization.
“My request is that all the Governors should review campaigns and ensure that in the next two years, we complete polio eradication. On routine immunization, the opportunity is fantastic, vaccinations are phenomenal on their impacts. We can prevent millions of deaths by doing work on RI”. Gates added.
In his remarks, Mr Aliko Dangote emphasized the need for government to be up-to-date on the payment of their counterpart funds, and to work hard on improving data especially at the grassroots level.
“We are delighted that the MoU have been extended, reaffirming Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Yobe states’ commitment to the health of their citizens. Our expectation now is that this commitment will be translated into concrete action,” Dangote stated.
He commended both the federal and governments for working on data improvement and for reaffirming their commitments to tackling preventable diseases.
In their separate remarks, the Governors expressed delight at the signing of the MoUs, and vowed to ensure full implementation in their various states.