The President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja likened Nigeria’s increasing capacity for production of covid-19 vaccines and other medical supplies to not just a matter of urgency, but of national security.
The President consequently gave directive to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to submit a progress report by the end of May 2022 on the indigenous production of vaccines.
According to a statement signed on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari gave the directive while receiving the leadership of the Nigeria Integrated Biopharmaceuticals Industries Consortium, led by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Fredlab, Mr Vilarugel Cuyas.
The statement was tagged ‘submit progress report on local vaccine production next month, President Buhari directs Minister of Health.’
While speaking on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s economy and health systems and how some nations with comparative advantages in being centres of bio-pharmaceutical productions adopted a “me-first” attitude towards securing their citizens, President Buhari said:‘‘At the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria was quick to respond to what seemed an existential threat, by strengthening the health system’s capacity to handle the pandemic.
He added that the federal government has continued in its aggressive collaboration with state government, private sector, and international partners to ensure the country have a stronger and better health system.