FG, Japan sign $18.2m agreement to strengthen NCDC labs


The Federal Government has entered into a $18.2 million agreement with the Government of Japan to strengthen the network of laboratories of Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

Mr Clem Agba,  Minister of State, Budget and National Planning (MBNP), signed $18.2 million agreement to strengthen the capacity of network laboratories of Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) for accurate laboratory and medical investigations.

Mrs Victoria Agba-Attah, Director Information of MBNP, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Minister lauded the Japanese government for fulfilling the promise made by its Prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to Nigeria at the TICAD 7 Conference, Tokoyo, Japan in 2019.

The minister lauded Japan for  the timely signing of the agreement, “especially now that the COVID-19 has become a global concern and every country is doing its best to protect its territory and citizenry.

“The initiative will help in complementing  the efforts of the Nigerian government in the fight against infectious diseases,” he said.

Agba reassured the Japanese Ambassador of Nigeria’s commitment to creating an enabling environment to sustain the relationship between the two countries in achieving sustainable economic development for  Nigeria.

Also, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Yutaka Kikuta, while signing on behalf of the Japanese government, said that the agreement  would  support the NCDC to strengthen its surveillance system of infectious diseases and improve capacities for early response to public concerns  in the country.

Kikuta said that the project involved the construction of a Central Public Health laboratory in Lagos as well as the procurement of necessary equipment to eight laboratories.

The laboratories, according to him, were the Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos; University of Lagos Teaching Hospital Virology Laboratory; National Hospital Abuja; University College Hospital, Ibadan; and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu.

Others are Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State; University of Benin Teaching Hospital and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.

Kikuta commended the NCDC for the  pivotal role they were playing in the management of the coronavirus outbreak in country.

He said the Government of Japan remained committed to her pledges and would continue to support Nigeria’s effort at strengthening its health system.