The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has made a passionate appeal to the United Nations (UN) to consider giving the necessary support in the production of Malaria Vaccine to save millions of people that are dying from malaria related diseases every year in the Sub-Sahara region of Africa.
The Minister made this statement when the Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday 16th December, 2021, in his office in Abuja.
Sen. Akpabio who explained that the Sub-Sahara region of the continent has long been tagged as the ‘white man’s grave yard’ due to the devastating effect of malaria disease has been neglected for the last fifty years of medical advancement while Covid-19 have attracted so much attention.
According to the former minority leader, “healthcare delivery system is a major issue within the region and in Africa, Malaria kills millions of people every year more than Covid-19, adding that the Ministry would be very glad to partner the UN in the area of Climate change, Environmental issues, Social inclusion, Empowerment programmes and education to reduce the effect of underdevelopment occasioned by continuous oil exploration and degradation in the region”.
Sen. Akpabio further stated that Federal Government is carrying out the Ogoni clean-up with the support of the IOC’s and international community, he, therefore, appealed to the UN for intervention in other areas of the region affected by oil exploration which has experienced oil spillage.
In his response, the Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, OFR, stated that Nigeria is a great country and what happens in the Niger Delta region is a reflection of what happens in Nigeria as a whole. He noted that issues relating to the region are crucial and that the region should be provided with adequate health facilities, schools, empowerment programmes for youths and equally tackle environmental pollution as result of oil exploration.
He reiterated that empowering the youths is planning for the future as it gives them hope and reduced insecurity.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, MNDA, Dr. Babayo Ardo informed the UN delegates that the Ministry has lived up to expectation with Sen. Akpabio at the helm of affairs through visible developmental strides such as provision of infrastructures, high impact social programmes, empowerment of youths and women.