#Opinion: Falling Oil Prices Could Stop Health funding in Nigeria, Bill Gates warns

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Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, says development plans by leading financial institutions and philanthropies may be affected by oil prices in Nigeria, leading to a lack of funding for key sectors such as health.

Speaking on a new vision for financing development at the World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington, Gates said the world needs to maintain development financing; though dependence on development banks is getting high, and may affect nations without domestic resource mobilization.

He further states that if official development assistance to low income countries is off the table, countries like Nigeria hit by low oil prices may have low health funding;

“It’s kind of a black and white thing today. In a country like Nigeria that is dependent on oil prices for such a high percentage of its budget, we can face a situation where not only are the vaccines not being given but also the primary health care as a whole is not being funded”.

“We have constant innovation — whether it’s a malaria vaccine, or a new seed that’s drought-resistant. All of those tools could be made available to developing countries.”

In 2016, the Nigerian government budgeted N221.7 billion for health, which is seen as one of the relatively well-funded sectors of the economy.

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