The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has developed a framework under which grants and other long term facilities would be made available for Nigerian researchers to come up with a local solution to Coronavirus.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made this known during the inauguration of Thisday Dome COVID-19 Testing, Tracing and Treatment Center, in Abuja.
The centre is a 300-bed facility with a 54 gene laboratory, is a private sector driven initiative donated by a consortium of like-minded partners powered by the Sahara Energy Group and the ThisDay Media and Technology Group. Other key players include the CA-COVID, the AFC, CCECC, NNPC and the CBN.
Emefiele challenged Nigerian scientists at home and in the diaspora to go back to their laboratories and develop a Nigerian vaccine, saying “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.
He said, “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. Our inability to accurately predict the extent to which the Coronavirus could spread, and how long it would last, requires that we build sufficient capacity within our health system in order to contain the spread of the virus, state by state, city by city and preserve the lives of vulnerable Nigerians.”
Also, Mustapha, who is the chairman of the COVID-19 task force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), charged the private sector to direct their support for the fight against COVID-19 to developing healthcare capacity at the rural level.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that the country was prepared for the worst on the issue of the Coronavirus pandemic.
His words, “We are able to learn a lot of things from the Chinese doctors. We are happy that this treatment and isolation center is in place now. We are pleased that this is a good example of what the private sector can do in supporting event of this nature of the COVID-19 outbreak that is affecting everybody both the rich and poor.”