The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has received more than 20 applications for the N67 billion grants under its Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS).
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this during the inauguration of the BoE yesterday. He explained that the programme was designed to increase research and development activities that would help support the development of Nigerian-made vaccines, drugs and herbal medicines.
He said, through grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes, the country’s domestic capacity to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable or non-communicable diseases would be improved, and it is expected that the grants would fund research and development of drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of diseases.
“Providing grants for research and development in new or revalidation of drug molecules, phytomedicines and vaccines will help in the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
“It will boost domestic manufacturing of validated drugs (active pharmaceutical ingredients or APIs), herbal medicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria. And this will reduce the nation’s dependence on other countries for these drugs and vaccines.
“It will also improve the capacity of the biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes in the development of approved Nigerian drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines for infectious diseases.
“This will help to support the capacity of relevant health agencies toward attaining WHO Maturity Level 3, a prerequisite for manufacturing of vaccines in Nigeria,” Emefiele said.
The SGF commended the CBN for the intervention, which he said has set the country on the path of recovery.
The chairperson of the BOE, director-general of NAFDAC, Prof . Mojisola Adeyeye, also lauded the CBN for its interventions in the health sector.
Adeyeye said the charge of the BoE was to review and evaluate submitted research proposals, as well as recommend projects with high potential for financing to ensure they contribute to development of essential orthodox and herbal medicines and vaccines for infectious diseases.
She added that the charge was to arrive at a rational scientific decision that justified the goal.