The Nigerian Government has signed a $18.2m grant agreement with Japan to strengthen the capacity of network laboratories of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control for accurate medical and laboratory investigations.
The Nation reports that Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, signed the agreement on behalf of Nigeria.
Agba praised the Japanese Government for fulfilling the promise made by Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, to Nigeria at the TICAD 7 Conference in Tokyo, last year.
Agba described the signing of the grant agreement as “timely”, against the backdrop of the recent outbreak of “the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) that has become a global concern and every country is doing its best to protect its territory and citizenry.”
The minister said that the initiative would help complement the efforts and commitment of the Nigerian Government in the fight against infectious diseases.
He reassured the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Yutaka Kikuta, who signed on behalf of the Japanese Government, of Nigeria’s commitment to creating an enabling environment to sustain the relationship between the two countries as well as the economic development of the Nigerian nation.
Kikuta said the grant Agreement was to support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to strengthen its surveillance of infectious diseases and improve its capacity for early responses to public health concerns in Nigeria.
The locations, according to him, are the Central Public Health Laboratory in Lagos; LUTH Virology Laboratory; National Hospital, Abuja; University College Hospital, Ibadan; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu; Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State; UBTH, Benin; and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK