The fight against the recurring cases of polio in Nigeria has received a boost as Nigeria and Japan are set to sign agreement for $85 million geared towards eradication of Polio virus in the country. The loan, according to officials, is aimed at expanding the scope of the programme, in accelerating immunization programme, as well as assisting Nigeria to interrupt polio. The revelation was made known during the visit of the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Ryuichi Shoji to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.
Chukwu described Japan as a reliable ally which had shown interest in economic development of Nigeria adding that it has over the years helped Nigeria finance polio campaign through the provision of loan facilities.
He observed that Nigeria has not relented in her efforts to eradicate polio this year. He said: “We will meet the target this year; we are not resting on our oars to eradicate polio this year”, said Chukwu. Earlier, Shoji said the purpose of his visit was to fix a date for the signing of grant that Japan would extend to Nigeria to the tune of 85 Million dollars for the eradication of polio.
He explained that the loan facility was coming on the heels of a recently reached agreement between the Government of Nigeria and the Government of Japan for the purpose of implementing polio eradication in the country. He said that the loan would be extended in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of Japan to the federal government by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).