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Bill and Melinda Gates foundation agrees to repay Nigeria’s $76m polio debt

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has agreed to help repay a $76 million Japanese facility obtained to battle polio.

Minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun made this known in Abuja on Tuesday when she received a delegation of Japanese House of Councillors Parliamentarians in Abuja.

The delegation was on a mission to “research” the level of the usage of the Overseas Development Assistance (ODAs) extended to Nigeria since 2014.

Adeosun explained that the authority to trigger the repayment was given to Bill and Melinda Gates foundation following the eradication of polio in the country as a result of the ODA facility provided by the Japanese government valued at $76 million in 2014.

The ODA facility was structured for repayment after four years. By this development, Bill and Melli da Gates Foundation will start repaying the facility to Japan this year.

Adeosun expressed happiness that the structure of the transaction was favourable to Nigeria because after four years Nigeria can ask Bill and Melli da Gates foundation to trigger payment of the polio eradication facility.

The finance minister while marketing Nigeria to the Japanese delegation noted that Nigeria “is fast growing and evolving from negative areas to positive areas through its determined fight against corruption and the desire of the current administration to lift Nigerians out of poverty.”

She assured the Japanese that the Nigerian economy is going to transform in the coming years and will like to deepen relations with Japanese companies some of which were in the country last year.

“Because Nigeria is a middle-income country we will require the expertise of Japanese companies for infrastructure development”, Adeosun said while assuring the delegation that Nigeria is a good place to invest because Nigeria is a rising investment destination and promised that the government will make life easy for Japanese investors wishing to do business in Nigeria.

Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation, Mr Kiyoshi Ejima described Nigeria as a powerhouse with rich natural resources with which Japan has tried to strengthen the relationship with.

He stated that Nigeria has set the target of becoming one of the top 20 economies by the year 2020 and he assured that “Japan will support Nigeria towards realizing its 2020 target.”

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