From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has complained that the private sector response against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and other donor agencies have failed to support its research results which have proven to be effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NIPRD said they have repeatedly approached CACOVID and other donor agencies to support the pre-clinical or clinical trials of its local solutions against COVID-19, Niprimune, and other related ailments but they returned unimpressive response.
NIPRD Director-General Dr Obi Adigwe, who hosted members of House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19 who were on oversight functions on Monday, in Abuja, solicited the legislative support to prevail on CACOVID and other private donor agencies to support NIPRD in series of research.
‘Every agency and organization often make promises to collaborate with NIPRD on paper but the case is also different in practice. We have written to more than 30 development partners and philanthropic organizations soliciting their support on our locally developed solution, Niprimune, but we didn’t get an impressive response.
‘So far, only ECOWAS supported us with $30, 000 to enable us to fund some of the projects we have. I am disappointed with the level of response we have received so far as regards our solution. We have written to CACOVID but no response so far. Nevertheless, we won’t relent. We would continue to engage with them, possibly making them understand the reason why they should support us. We would equally appreciate legislative intervention in this regard, maybe at the level of the National Assembly.’
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Haruna Maishalia, who led other members of the Committee, in his remarks, commended the NIPRD boss on his contributions to the fight against COVID-19 which, he said, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has openly recognised.
He challenged the NIPRD boss to explore other opportunities that would help him strengthen his operations and proffer solutions to different public health challenges in Nigeria.