The Central Bank of Nigeria said it has disbursed the sum of N253.54 million to five researchers for the development of Nigerian COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines for other diseases.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this saying that the apex bank has spent the sum of N85.89 billion on its Health Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF).
Mr. Emefiele said: “The CBN has over time emphasized the need for us to move from a consumer-based economy to a more productive economy. To this, the bank has developed intervention programmes and schemes across various sectors including the health sector.
“As part of proactive measures to support the growth of the Nigerian healthcare sector, the CBN introduced the Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility.
“The facility is aimed at strengthening the sector’s capacity to meet the increasing demand for healthcare products and services, particularly pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare value chain players intending to build or expand capacity.
“Currently, 82 projects, valued at N85.89 billion, have been financed through this Scheme. The projects comprised 26 pharmaceutical and 56 medical projects across the country.”
Emefiele said the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, received 286 proposals from the general public, out of which 68 proposals had been evaluated.
He said of those evaluated, “Five proposals with significant merit valued at N253.54 million were recommended by the experts for financing. Some of the recommended proposals also have the potential to enable the development of the Nigerian vaccine for COVID-19.”
Stressing further, he noted that COVID-19 “exposed the fragility of our healthcare system and the urgent need to look inward and build a more robust and sustainable healthcare.
“The response by some advanced and developing countries also reflected the significant advancements that have occurred in the health sector in those countries.
“Their investments in R&D enabled health institutions to develop a rapid response to Coronavirus, with the deployment of vaccines in record time.”