The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), has asked the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to intensify its intervention programmes in areas of health care delivery services and agriculture.
Gbajabiamila made the call while receiving members of the foundation’s delegation, led by its President, Global Development, Mr Chris Elias, in his office on Thursday in Abuja.
He said Nigeria was always desirous of collaboration with development partners that would impact positively on the socio-political and economic development of the country.
The speaker said Nigeria’s collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became imperative as the country marched toward the diversification of its economy and improved healthcare service delivery to the people.
“We believe very much in collaboration with development partners and we welcome the collaboration in healthcare service delivery since Nigeria is perhaps your biggest operations in Africa.
“We want the collaboration to remain that way and probably become your biggest operations in the world one day.
“We will continue to reach out to you in polio eradication and agriculture since Nigerian is on the march to diversify its economy,” he said.
Gbajabiamila also implored the foundation to work closely with relevant committees of the House, whose leadership and membership were carefully selected to reflect the seriousness attached to each sector of the society.
Earlier in his address, Elias said the visit was to familiarise with the speaker and the house as well as seek areas to improve collaborations with Nigeria.
Elias said that Nigeria is the largest Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation office of the three offices in Africa.
He noted that the foundation had been very active in the areas of agriculture and health, especially polio eradication as well as nutrition.