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Nigeria set to serve as Global Centre for Vaccine production – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed Nigeria’s readiness to become a global hub for manufacturing and distribution of vaccine and biological pharmaceuticals.

The goal, according to the President, is for the country to be able to “support initiatives to keep all of mankind safe”. 
 
President Buhari, who made the remarks in Seoul, South Korea, also called for the speedy take-off of local production of mRNA vaccines, after the World Health Organisation (WHO) selected Nigeria as one of six African countries to receive the technology needed to produce the vaccines.
Addressing the World Bio Summit 2022, the President pledged Nigeria’s commitment to global response to known or emerging pathogens, including the global vaccine assurance ecosystem and equitable access for all.
He told the meeting, jointly convened by the Government of South Korea and WHO, to discuss the future of vaccines and Bio-Health across the globe, assuring the rest of the world that Nigeria would continue to explore “bilateral, multilateral and other opportunities for cutting-edge technology as a centre of excellence for vaccine manufacturing and distribution”.
Ongoing conversations on the future of vaccines tend to support the decentralisation of capacity to produce essential materials to respond globally to pandemics, the President observed.

Yet, he expressed Nigeria’s preference for a global warehousing and supply chain strategy to attend to the needs of most countries.
Reaffirming Nigeria’s position on equitable distribution of vaccines, he cited lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic and what he referred to as the “unpleasant experiences of developing countries”.
The global response to the [COVID-19] pandemic has been “discriminatory”, the Nigerian leader insisted, and demanded that the international community “must not allow the serious public health failure to happen again”.
This Summit certainly opens up global conversations at high levels of government, on measures that are expected to forestall recurrence of the unpleasant experiences that Low-Income and Lower Middle-Income countries in Africa and Asia, especially, had to endure with regard to access to vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he pointed out..
He alluded to Nigeria’s selection as one of the six African countries to be the first on the continent to receive the technology needed to produce local mRNA vaccines from the WHO scheme, and declared that Nigeria has already begun taking steps to provide the “needed infrastructure and requisite funding necessary for the implementation of this noble initiative”.

Fall-out of climate change

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is already experiencing the negative fallout of climate change seen in the flooding in different parts of the country, as well as encroaching desertification and drought from the northern part.

He made the observation at an audience he granted the former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on the sidelines of the First World Bio Summit 2022.

The President expressed delight with the cooperation existing between Nigeria and the Republic of Korea (South Korea), especially in the area of energy supply, citing gas exports to the Asian country.

Mr Ban, and strong advocate for Climate Change remediation, sympathised with President Buhari and the Nigerian people over the flooding. He, however, called for more investment to improve education, avert environmental degradation, and preventive diseases, in order, he said, “to meet the core Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Omotola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor