Nigeria, D-8 Organization sign partnership for economic cooperation

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Following the signing of country partnership agreement between Nigeria and the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, to host the Health and Social Protection (D-8 HSP) program office in Abuja, the Secretary General of the D-8, Ambassador Dato’Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, said the gesture by the Nigerian government will attract investors and help unlock the huge market potential in the Nigeria’s health sector.

You will recall that on Tuesday 21st January, 2020 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the D-8 signed a country partnership agreement, which highlighted the Federal Government of Nigeria’s support for the establishment of the programme office, in line with global best practices and standards which includes provision of office accommodation, guarantee of security and extension of diplomatic privileges.

At the signing, the Secretary General reaffirmed the commitment of the D-8 to promoting health and social protection for citizens of D-8 member countries, stating that the programme is designed to accelerate progress especially in the context of SDGs 1, 2, and 3 which are critical indicators of improving health and living standards.

“I am happy to inform that the health and social protection programme has been structured in such a manner that resources will be leveraged from within the group, the strong supporting the weak, thereby reducing reliance on donor aid” Dato’ Ku Jaafar said.

The HSP according to Dato’ Ku Jaafar will support Member States to improve access to essential health services, improve quality of care, governance and human resource for health, prevent non communicable diseases and provide social protection.

“Through the HSP programme we hope to unlock the market potential in health amongst Member States from which resources will be leveraged to fund the key intervention pillars of health, nutrition and poverty” Dato’ Ku Jaafar said

The Secretary General also spoke on the D-8’s 10th summit which is scheduled to take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh later in the year where a new road map and plan of action for the actualization of the organization’s targets will be launched.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, commended the D-8 for the laudable initiative to promote health and support human capacity development for D-8 member countries He added that it will be a great benefit for Nigeria as a member of the D-8.

The Permanent Secretary of Nigeria’s Ministry of Health, Alhaji, Abdul-Aziz Abdullahi Mashi said there is no short-cut to development without investing in the people, hence, coupling health and poverty alleviation. He said he is hopeful that the D-8 initiative will support the ongoing efforts to strengthen Nigeria’s health system.

The D-8 Member Countries include Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey. The Organization has a combined population of over 1.1 billion people and covers an area of 7.6 million square kilometers which constitutes five percent of the total world land area.

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