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Gates to Nigeria: Billionaire Philanthropist Advocates for Increased Investment in Nigeria’s Future

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LAGOS, Nigeria – Bill Gates, the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has called on the Nigerian government to increase its healthcare budget.

Speaking at the Youth Innovation Forum in Lagos on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, Gates highlighted the importance of healthcare investment in realizing the potential of the Nigerian population.

He expressed concern that Nigeria’s state and federal governments spend only $10 per person on healthcare annually, compared to the average of $31 spent across sub-Saharan Africa.

He urged Nigerian leaders to significantly increase their financial commitment, particularly in primary healthcare systems.

“It may not surprise you that Nigeria’s state and federal governments only spend the equivalent of $10 per person on health each year, compared to $31 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Leaders need to make a much bigger financial commitment, focused most of all on improving primary health systems,” Gates said.

He emphasized the importance of ensuring that clinics are well-staffed and supplied and that children receive necessary vaccinations.

He pointed out that these basic healthcare provisions are essential for improving health and opportunities, which in turn, can unlock Nigeria’s potential.

“Making sure clinics are well-staffed and supplied, making sure children get the vaccines they need—all of this is absolutely essential to improving health and opportunity and unlocking all of Nigeria’s potential,” he added.

Bill Gates also expressed his confidence in the ability of Nigerian youths to make a positive impact in the country and beyond.

He acknowledged the remarkable potential of new technologies, but highlighted the need for equitable access to opportunities and innovations.

He noted that there is a disparity in access to digital technologies between urban and rural areas in Nigeria, with those living in urban areas being twice as likely to make digital payments as compared to those in rural areas.

Gates called on the government and other stakeholders to work together to ensure that opportunities and innovations are accessible to all Nigerians, regardless of where they live.

This call to action by Bill Gates, a renowned business magnate and philanthropist, underscores the critical role of healthcare investment in fostering national development and improving the quality of life for the population.

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