The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to enhance its funding for fair solutions for the nation.
Speaking in Lagos at the Pan-African Youth Innovation Forum, Gates underscored that the issues he raised five years ago, economic instability and security threats, remain issues that Nigerians must contend with today, as seen in Nairametrics, a Nigerian news publication. The billionaire noted that, in contrast to the $31 average for sub-Saharan Africa, the state and federal governments of Nigeria spend barely $10 per person per year on healthcare.
Gates’ comments highlight the critical need for more financial support to upgrade the healthcare system and meet the people of Nigeria’s most basic requirements.
Bill Gates advised the newly inaugurated President Bola Tinubu and his administration to devote a lot more money to enhancing basic healthcare services.
He said that Nigeria was full of smart individuals with a lot of promise during the event themed “Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth in Science and Innovation,” but cautioned that it could be difficult for them to realize that potential if they lack access to the most fundamental necessities of life.
“It may not surprise you that Nigeria’s state and federal governments only spend the equivalent of $10 on health per person 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,” the billionaire remarked.
“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 said.
He said that he intends to talk to the Nigerian government about stepping up investments in digital banking systems and agriculture, but emphasized that Nigerians still have other problems that need to be resolved. “The last time I visited Nigeria in 2018, I spoke to government leaders about your country’s potential for growth.