The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, has formally unveiled the plan for vaccine research, development and local production in the country.
Unveiling the plan on Friday in Abuja, the minister said the plan was developed from the year-long collaboration between the European Union, the Bulgarian Government, and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) on behalf of the Nigerian government.
He said the joint efforts were crucial in complementing the National Vaccine Policy.
He said the national plan was comprehensively developed from a novel bottom-up approach, adding that it would serve as a template to guide the end-to-end production of vaccines.
Dr. Alausa applauded NIPRD and local and international partners for taking the lead in the initiative, and supporting Nigeria’s efforts in the thematic area respectively.
“I will commend you, even as you have now moved to support the next phase of this project, which will lead us to look at domesticating vaccine production,” he said.
The Director-General of NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe, said that with relevant support and prioritisation, the institute could midwife the establishment of up to three vaccine plants in Nigeria within the lifespan of the plan.
He commended the federal government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for having confidence in the institute and giving it all the necessary support to perform optimally in the spirit of the Renewed Hope Agenda.
The Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Yanko Yordanov, commended the Ministry of Health for the opportunity to be part of the critical health initiative.
He said his government is committed to continuous support and partnership towards the contextual exploration of high-level research activities in Nigeria.
Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Ambassador Samuela Isopi, commended NIPRD for its efforts at ensuring that Nigeria becomes a hub of production of medicines in the African sub-region.
Represented by Prof Ben Amor Mathieu, he reiterated the strong alignment of the plan with the priorities of the European Union.