By Ndidi Chukwu
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has said it is supporting Nigeria Government with a loan worth of N18.6 billion vaccines to be procured through UNICEF. The loan would be paid in 20 years, with a grace period of 7-years.
Nigeria’s outgoing JICA’s Country Chief, Tetsuo Seki disclosed this while presenting evidence of the loan’s release to the Chief Executive of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad in his Abuja’s office. Mr Seki recalled that the loan’s agreement was signed last year by Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and JICA’s leadership.
He disclosed that apart from the loan’s package, JICA had supported Nigerian’s immunizations programmes in the last 10-years to the tune of $100 million dollars. In his response, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to JICA not only on polio eradication but also for routine immunization. Dr. Ado assured JICA’s leadership that the loan will be used most efficiently for the purposes intended. Mr. Tetsuo Saki, the outgoing JICA Country’s Chief is expected to leave Nigeria at the end of April while Mr. Hirotaka Nakamura is the new replacement