From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that Nigeria and the Republic of Cuba will strengthen cooperation in the area of biotechnology development.
Dr. Onu said this when he received the Cuban ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Clara Polido Escandell, in his office in Abuja on Monday.
Dr. Onu said that the relationship between both countries will include research in vaccine production, medicine production and development of biotechnological materials. He added that the collaboration will be a mutually beneficial one.
He hailed the resilience of Cuba, despite being a small country slammed with international blockade and sanctions has been able to achieve landmark strides in covid-19 vaccines.
The Minister further said that Cuban researchers and innovators have been able to produce medicine to manage diseases such as Meningitis which affects tropical African nations.
Dr. Onu who described the relationship between both nations as “warm and strong”, further assured the Cuban diplomat that Nigeria would stand on the principle of justice and will continue to be a dependable ally.
He used the opportunity to call on the Organised Private Sector (OPS), to invest more in STI, as Nigeria has all it takes to be a world power in scientific innovations.
Earlier, the Cuban Ambassador, her Excellency Amb. Clara Pulido Escandell said her country is achieving remarkable strides and development in producing Covid-19 vaccines, especially considering its safety for children’s use and people with allergies.
She said her country is willing to provide expertise and assistance to Nigeria in the development of STI.
She used the opportunity to appreciate Nigeria as a dependable and strong ally, especially at the international stage.