President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the designation of Nigeria as one of the six countries in Africa designated as manufacturing bases for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The President spoke Friday in Brussels, Belgium, while contributing to the Roundtable on Health Systems and Vaccine Production at the ongoing 6th Europe-Africa Summit.
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“I am delighted to receive the news of the selection of Nigeria among recipients of MRNA Vaccine technology transfer.
“We shall ensure the best use is made of the opportunity. Nigeria also offers to host the Bio-manufacturing Training hub proposed by World Health Organization (WHO).
“We commit to providing support to make the hub functional in the shortest possible time.
“Accordingly, we are prioritizing the manufacture of vaccines on the African continent and in the sharing and transfer of technology and intellectual property rights.
“We call on the EU to support the WTO towards the conclusion of negotiations on intellectual property rights’ waiver to ensure that the manufacturing of vaccines can start early in Africa,” he said.
The presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement said with the addition of Nigeria to the four countries earlier approved for the vaccine production on the continent, efforts by the Buhari administration to change the selection that the country considered unrepresentative of the needs, capabilities and population distribution in Africa had yielded the desired result.
President Buhari, who also called for collaboration to address the effects of the pandemic, commended the efforts of the foreign partners in making the COVID-19 vaccine available.
He, however, urged them to do more as less than 10 per cent of the African population had gotten the jab, stressing that this situation could negatively affect Africa’s developmental projections.
President Buhari also called for a closer collaboration with the EU to tackle the effects of the pandemic on the African continent.