THE Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, has reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the vision and aspirations of the Developing Eight (D-8) Organisation for Economic Cooperation.
Dada disclosed this at the official signing of the D-8 Headquarters Agreement on Health and Social Protection programmes in Abuja on Tuesday.
“I wish to reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment towards the success of this initiative and willingness to collaborate with member states in ensuring our citizens gain access to affordable health and robust social protection,” he said.
He described the programme as an integral tool for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
According to him, emerging trends such as climate change and the likes have continued to become an impediment to our developmental agenda, as well as the well-being of our people.
“This has made the D-8 member states to realise that more needs to be done for sustainable development to the health and well-being of the people.
“The adoption of the Health and Social Protection programme by the D-8 is therefore timely in assisting member states to reduce poverty and inequality.
“This will undeniably bring about the desired goal that we believe will facilitate the structural transformation of our country.
“It is therefore important that we as member-states continue to share our experiences towards making the programme a huge success,” he said.
The minister thanked D-8 member states for considering Nigeria as host to Headquarters of its Health and Social Protection programme office and appointment of Dr Ado Muhammad, a Nigerian, as the Director.
Also speaking, the Secretary-General of D-8, Amb. Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, said the programme was designed to accelerate the progress of SDGs 1,2, and 3 which are critical indicators of living standards.
He said that the programme hopes to unlock market potentials in health among member countries, to leverage resources towards funding of healthcare delivery services and provision of social protection.
Ku Shaari said, “Today’s event is historic as it marks a watershed in the history of our organisation, being the broadening of our operational mandate into health and social protection.”
He said that economic cooperation between member countries across several sectors has improved and yielded good dividends to the organisation.
The sectors are trade, aviation, infrastructure, tourism and culture, transportation, agriculture, education, electronics and ICT.
“Our objective to be counted and seen visibly as a giant group in the international arena is gradually seeing the light of the day, so also our voice now louder than before.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, remarked that Nigeria had agreed to establish a health and social protection programme on the outcome of a partnership with the D-8 agreement.
Ehanire, represented by Dr Abdullahi Mashi, said that the signing of the agreement would further allow the Federal Government to advance its `Next Level’ agenda of the health sector.
According to him, sharing experiences among member countries of the D-8 would contribute to the improvement of their healthcare systems.
“The establishment of the programme office has already produced commendable results such as development document and the hosting of stakeholders forum in health care services in 2019.
“This shows signs of good things to come when member countries support and commitment towards this laudable programme.
“The signing of agreement signals our commitment as a country to align with the good ideals of the organisation, as we look forward to harnessing its full benefits for the good of our people,” Ehanire said.
He, however, said that the event further marked a new turn in the economic promotion and sustainable development of the member states.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the event was the signing of the agreement.
In attendance were Heads of Mission of D-8 member-countries in Nigeria which consist Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
D-8 is an inert-governmental organization launched on June 15, 1997, to improve member states position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade and improve standards of living. (NAN)
– Jan. 21, 2020 @ 17:25 GMT |