In a bid to fight the increase of the novel COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it is developing a frame work under which grants and long term facilities will be provided to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop a local vaccine in Nigeria against the COVID-19.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele revealed this in Abuja while speaking at the commissioning of Thisday Dome COVID-19 Testing, Tracing and Treatment Center.
Emefiele noted the need to develop a home-grown solution to combat the Coronavirus pandemic sprouted the grant initiative.
He said Nigeria might be the last in the queue to receive curative remedies if it awaits vaccines from foreign countries.
He further lamented that the pandemic has negatively affected the nation’s economy, while exposing Nigeria’s economy to supply, demand and revenue shocks.
“The unparalleled shock, requires that the Federal and State governments along with the organized private sector, work together to address these challenges in order to preserve lives and restore economic activity and reset the economy of our dear country,” Emefiele said.
He further challenged 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. 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.
“This requires that we all come together to support the ‘work of the Presidential Task Force in it’s determination to save lives and stem the pandemic.
“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.” He said.