By Isaac Aregbesola
The Federal Government and the Government of Germany on Wednesday signed a 10 million Euros aid agreement to eradicate polio in Nigeria.
The agreement was signed in Abuja between Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and the German Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Bernhard Schlagheck.
Onyeama said that the 10 million Euros grant would facilitate Nigeria’s quest to totally eradicate polio in the country.
He noted with concern that government’s efforts had some setbacks due to the activities of terrorism in the North Eastern part of the country.
“I just have to take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the government of Germany for this support.
“As you know we have come very close to eradicating polio in the world, but you know there are still one or two issues.
“The problem we have in the north east has exacerbate the situation and made it more difficult to eradicate” he said.
The German ambassador expressed optimism that the grant would go a long way in achieving the desired goal.
Schlagheck said:“Germany is to support Nigeria with 10 million naira to eradicate polio in Nigeria.
“We have engaged with the government of Nigeria for some time mostly under the assistance of the WHO and we want to continue with our engagement`.
“As I said together with government of Nigeria we had achieve some remarkable successes here in Nigeria, on some outstanding issues.
“We want to increase and consolidate our engagement and that is actually what we just did, I hope very much that polio will be removed from the country before long”.
The ceremony was witnessed by representative of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA).
The Director of Logistics, PHCDA, Iyabo Dara Dara in her remarks expressed the belief that Nigeria would soon be declared polio free.
“I think in the next two to three years we should be polio free because we are spending almost one year now without any case of polio again.
“I think this will go a long way in helping in activities that we have planned,” she said.
On Sept. 25, 2015, the WHO declared Nigeria polio–free and was officially removed from polio endemic list.