The N10bn aggregate loan request by pharmaceuticals and other health care organizations for production of COVID-19 vaccines and test kits in Nigeria has been approved by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
CBN had announced N100 billion to ensure laboratories, researchers and innovators work with global scientists to produce vaccines and test kits in Nigeria to combat major crises ahead.
The grant also is aimed at giving breakthrough in researches on COVID-19 vaccines.
The CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said “on the loan component about N10bn worth of applications have already been approved and many more are being processed.”
speaking on how grants work, he said: “Grants are guided by procedures and not a free for all. They have to be applied for and processed. There are guidelines which must be followed.There are qualifications for grants and they have to be met, which in this case must include authentication by relevant government agencies such as the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the scientific foundation of such research.
“Grants may be seen as free, yes they are free, but they are not just handed out to anyone who stretches out their hands. You must have a plan, demonstrable and genuine scientific efforts, intentions and above all you have to apply for them” he stated further.
“I know some persons have an aversion for due process but we do not encourage that at the CBN. I advise those who are interested to follow due process and apply for the grant and stop using the media to ridicule the good intentions of the CBN.”
CBN’s COVID-19 interventions in the healthcare sector consist of two basic components.
One is a loan programme while the other is in the form grants and/or loans for pharmaceutical and healthcare-related research on COVID-19, which was announced just about two weeks ago.