As NAFDAC DG Chairs Board For R&D
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said 20 projects valued at N26.278bn have been funded under its
N100bn credit support intervention for the nation’s healthcare industry.
He spoke on Monday, July 20, 2020, in Abuja, during the inauguration of the Body of Experts (BoE) for the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) established by the apex bank by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
The CBN HSRDIS, he explained, was designed to increase Nigeria’s research and development activities to support the development of validated Nigeria-made vaccines, drugs and herbal medicines.
The HSRDIS chaired by the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, is also expected to address challenges militating research and development investment in Nigeria’s healthcare sector.
The body, the CBN boss added, was established to review and evaluate submitted research proposals and provide recommendations for financing the identified R&D proposals.
Emefiele assured that the apex bank would provide grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes, to boost domestic capacity to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable or non-communicable diseases.
Stressing the need to support capacity of relevant health agencies towards attaining World Health Organisation (WHO) Maturity Level 3 prerequisite for manufacturing of vaccines in Nigeria, Emefiele said the CBN would facilitate partnership between academia (researchers, research institutes and universities) and industry to research and develop drugs, phytomedicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria
Emefiele said a major objective for the apex bank was also to reduce dependence on imported drug products (synthetic and herbal) and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
“Attention will be paid to research projects with high potential to contribute to the development of the Nigerian vaccines that will help curb the spread infectious diseases.
“All submissions will be subjected to strict scientific and empirical scrutiny considered to be best in class,” Emefiele added.
Performing the ceremony, Mustapha said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed gaps in the country’s health, governance, security infrastructure.
While commending the efforts of the CBN at addressing the flaws in the public health system through its landmark intervention, the SGF stressed that the pandemic presented the country with a fresh opportunity to reposition its health system and redress all deficiencies in the sector, as well as other infrastructure.
Mustapha expressed confidence in the composition of the body to deliver on the onerous task, stressing that the CBN intervention would set Nigeria’s healthcare system on the path of recovery.
Responding, Prof. Adeyeye said the body “will diligently seek the truth by ascertaining how the hypothesis driven questions raised in the proposals will be answered.”
She noted that the success of the exercise will increase access to medical products which could impact positively the health of our population, create jobs and expand trade whilst reducing the over dependence on importation and further encourage local production.
Other members of the body are Prof. Babatunde Lawal, Professor Richard A. Adegbola, Prof. Alex Akpa, Professor Isa Marte Hussaini, Prof. Abdulhamid Ahmed, Dr. Chinwe Lucia Ochu, and Dr. Philip Fafowora Builders.