Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja received Amb. Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, the Secretary-General of Developing-8(D8).
Ku Shaari was in Nigeria for the official signing of an agreement to establish D8 Headquarters on Health and Social Protection programmes in Nigeria.
D8 is an organisation for development cooperation among Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Ku Shaari, who spoke with State House correspondents, said that all the stakeholders were excited about establishing the programmes office in Abuja, Nigeria.
“I think they are excited about it; we had our workshop last before we signed this agreement; I think all member states sent their representatives and now we are establishing our focal point with all the relevant agencies including the Ministry of Health of all member states.
“So, we are now connecting directing to them; we are talking to them directly in areas that we want to develop.
“The basic idea is about not only providing the primary healthcare but we want to see the health sector helping all the member states to advance economic growth and development.
“It provides the opportunity that will improve the standard of living particularly in the health sector; it will provide opportunity to empower the local people to go into entrepreneurship; into SMEs, into building new capacity by using local resources; by sharing the best practices; by sharing experiences,’’ he said.
The secretary-general said that Nigeria was the biggest economy in Africa, adding that the country could emerge to become the real hub of D8 Health and Social Protection Programmes.
He said that the government of Nigeria had agreed to provide the organisation with the facility and some funding to start the programme.
Ku Shaar said that D8 was also working with other organisations and member states to support in funding the project to make it a success story in the health sector.
On his part, Dr Ado Mohammed, Programme Director for D8 Health and Social Protection Programme, said it was about shared vision and shared prosperity.
According to Mohammed, the mandate of D8 is to enhance economic cooperation between member countries.
“You cannot do that without human capital and health is a key component of human capital.
“So, what happened here is to brief the vice president about the country partnership agreement and that speaks to the fact that Nigeria has accepted to host the programme office here in Abuja.
“That Nigeria has also agreed to provide the facility for the take-off of the programme office.
“So, today’s event is historic and it is the formal take-off of the programme office in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Also in the team that visited the vice president was Zubair Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.