By Sylvester Thompson
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, says Nigeria is intensifying efforts in research towards the production of COVID -19 vaccine.
Onu dropped the hint when the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Clara Paulido-Escandell, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Monday.
The minister said that professionals and scientists were being involved in the production process.
He said that producing COVID-19 vaccines locally would assist in creating jobs and reducing poverty rate in Nigeria as well as benefit other countries.
The minister expressed Nigerai’s willingness for partnerships with Cuba in local vaccine production.
Onu stressed that Nigeria would leverage on the existing bilateral relationship between both countries and work together in other areas for mutual benefits.
He noted that there were claims for the cure of the disease but said that the claims were being investigated at various levels.
The minister said there was need for Nigerian professionals and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to ensure that the Executive Order No. 5 was fully operational.
He added that the ministry should be notified when any Nigerian professional suffered unfairness in procurement process.
“We want all Nigerian professionals to be at the centre of economic activities in the country,” he said.
Earlier in her remarks, Paulido-Escandel acknowledged that her last visit to the ministry offered her the opportunity of working with some agencies to achieve local vaccine production.
She listed the agencies to include the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and Shetsco Development Institute.
The Cuban ambassador warned against the rising cases of the new COVID-19 variant. (NAN)