US, Nigeria sign $2.17 bn development objective assistance agreement

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By Favour Nnabugwu
The United States of America and Nigeria, have, signed a $2.17 billion Development Objective Agreement for a healthier and more educated Nigeria.
Secretary of State for the United State of America,, Anthony Blinken in his official visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday in Abuja, where the agreements were signed.
According to him, the agreement will also promote and expand energy access, economic growth and revitalise democracy.
He stated: “Home to Africa’s largest population, democracy, and economy, Nigeria is one of our most important partners on the continent. Nigeria’s stability and prosperity are inseparable from that of the region.
“The year 2020 was historic, as Nigerians reflected on the opportunities and challenges facing the country while marking the 60th anniversary of their independence and the beginning of bilateral relations with the United States.”
On the US governments response to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, “The United States and Nigeria have collaborated closely to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
 More than 60 interagency members from the U.S. Mission worked side-by-side with Nigerian counterparts, including on the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force, to plan and respond to the pandemic.
“In partnership with COVAX or bilaterally, the United States has provided more than seven and a half million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria and provided more than $119 million in COVID-19-related health and humanitarian assistance.
“This includes a 40-bed mobile field hospital; support for ventilators and personal protective equipment; technical assistance with vaccine readiness;
conducting epidemiological COVID-19 detection and vaccine hesitancy surveys; setting up electronic record systems; providing rapid response teams; training over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures;
developing and disseminating targeted education and prevention information through multiple channels; and transferring technology for virtual training.
“In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention helped establish a network of 153 COVID-19 testing labs nationwide.”

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