The Federal Government has commended International donor agencies for their numerous assistance to Nigeria and has also solicited for more of such assistance.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, expressed this gratitude when members of the United State Agency for International Development, (USAID), led by their director Mr. Michael Harvey paid him a courtesy call and revealed that their agency has spent $700 million to combat Aids-HIV in Nigeria. When expressing gratitude, the Minister said, “Government is grateful to all past assistance to our health, education, and agricultural sector from European Union, USAID, Unicef, World Bank etc, presently, as a new government, we have inherited difficult circumstances, we need more assistance especially support in our Infrastructure like the power sector.”
The Budget and National Planning Minister also revealed that one of the biggest challenges of the present administration is to attract more foreign and private investment into the economy. Senator Udoma said; ‘’Nigeria is today open to business; we want to see an increase in investment, private sector resources are unlimited, they come from within and outside the country. We are looking at all bottlenecks affecting investment in Nigeria and we will remove them.”
On the apprehension from USAID for the urgent reconstruction of North
Eastern states and their statistics that presently only 30% of Nigerians having HIV are on treatment, and calling on nigerian government to increase it’s counterpart funding to address this health scourge, Senator Udoma said “these problems are some of our biggest worries; our ministries and agencies handling these issues are working hard and will soon address them”.
Earlier, Mr. Harvey when asked will USAID support local production of HIV-Aids drugs in Nigeria said “Our Agency will for sure support the local pharmaceutical production of HIV-Aids drugs in Nigeria and this will benefit Nigeria for there is huge market for the drug.”