The Director-General National Biotechnology Development Agency,NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha says the partnership with the Cuban government for joint research on Tissue Culture, drugs, and Vaccines will reduce importation from 70% to 20% in few years.
Prof Mustapha stated this in Abuja at a news briefing on the importance of the recently signed NABDA ACT 2022 by President Mohammad Buhari.
He said local production of drugs and vaccines would enhance quality and strengthen the Naira.
According to the Director-General, the assent of the NABDA ACT 2022 was a move in the right direction to transform the country from an import-dependent nation to a producing and export-oriented economy,
“the significance of this Act is that the Agency now has a legal framework that guides and guards its researches, which are aimed at boosting agricultural productivity, promoting environmental sustainability, and development of vaccines and drugs, among many others’’.
Prof Mustapha said the move was a clear indication that the present government believes in Biotechnology as an accelerator for national growth saying that no nation could thrive if it exclude science from its democratic process.
He explained that the passage of the Act-which had promoted the Agency from a promoter to a full-fledge research institution that would utilize cutting-edge technologies for sustainable development.
The Act according to the Director-General provides a platform for collaboration with National and International biotechnology agencies and institutions for commercialization of its research results.
In this regard, he explained that the private sector involvement was imperative for mass production and commercialization of some of its innovations in Agriculture, Health, and energy.
On the issue of funds to carry out its laudable mandate, Prof Mustapha said proposals had already been drafted to the Federal Government and other international partners for assistance.
Prof Mustapha appreciated President Muammadu Buhari,the lawmakers and the staff of the Agency for their support and called on the media to ensure objective and balanced stories on biotechnology innovations.
Reporting by Rabi Momoh, editing by Daniel Adejo