The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has tasked scientists and other medical researchers in the country to come up with a local vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus.
This was as the apex bank said it is developing a framework to release grant and long term facilities to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop local vaccines to manage the coronavirus disease.
Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, stated this on Tuesday during the commissioning of Thisday Dome COVID-19 Testing, Tracing and Treatment Centre, in Abuja.
According to him, the need to strive to produce a local vaccine for the treatment of the virus has become essential, given the fact that Nigeria cannot continue to depend on foreign countries to come up with a cure.
He said: “In order to encourage greater research and development in Nigeria of drugs and vaccines that would help prevent the spread of the virus, the CBN is developing a framework under which grants and long term facilities will be provided to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop the Nigerian vaccine.
“Needless to state that if we are to wait for foreign countries to develop their own vaccines, we will be the last in the queue to receive curative remedies for our teeming population.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria today challenges Nigerian scientists at home and in the diaspora to go back to their laboratories and develop a Nigerian vaccine.
“Once validated by the health authorities, the CBN will step in and do the needful for the sake of over 200 million Nigerians now confronted by COVID-19.”
Emefiele went on to commend the Nigerian private sector practioners who came together under the Coalition against COVID-19 (CA -COVID) to support the government, by raising funds to procure needed isolation centres, medical equipment.
“Our objective is to improve the capacity of our health system to address emerging public health challenges.”
“So far, the CA-COVlD-19 has raised up to N27 billion to fund these initiatives. These donations are being used to build well equipped isolation centres across the 36 states of the federation.
“The THISDAY Dome Testing, Tracing and Treatment Centre being launched today represents a part of the support being provided by the CACOVID alliance. These measures will result in the addition of close to 4,000 hospital beds across the country and will serve as a significant boost towards our efforts at containing the spread of COVlD-19.”