At a ceremony held yesterday in Abuja, the government of Japan donated $2.8 million to the Federal Government of Nigeria to be used in the prevention of infectious diseases and the reinforcement of routine immunization, which includes a cold chain system. On behalf of Nigeria, the United Nations Children Fund accepted the grant in its role as the implementing agency of said projects.
Exchanges of notes were made between the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, Ryuichi Shoji, and the Deputy Representative and Officer in charge of UNICEF Nigeria, Jacques Boyer, during the ceremony. Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tetsuo Seki, and Boyer thereafter executed the grant agreement.
In his speech, Seki, said, “This grant from the government of Japan will be used to procure cold chain equipment such as solar refrigerator to fill existing gaps. This will boost routine polio eradication efforts as well as the drive towards polio eradication, especially in the context of introduction of new vaccines. In addition, the grant will support the operational cost of strategies to reduce the number of un-immunised children.” In turn, Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu assured that every penny of the grant will not pass through the government of Nigeria, but will be handled by UNICEF who will use it fully as it was intended by the Japanese government.