The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnibe Mamora, has assured that COVID-19 vaccines, when received in Nigeria, would be subjected to scrutiny by relevant authorities before usage.
The minister made this known in Abuja on Thursday while on a facility inspection tour of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).
Mamora said the scrutiny was necessary, because the vaccines were being produced under emergency conditions, adding that countries were required to sign indemnity before receiving the vaccines.
He also said that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would subject the vaccines to thorough scrutiny to ascertain their safety.
While commending the management of NIPRD for its efforts in developing safe and local pharmaceutical products, he noted that research and development remained important in promoting the good health and economic wellbeing of any nation.
He then called on stakeholders to collaborate more with NIPRD in its bid to develop local medicinal products and achieve its other mandates.
“Vaccines are being used under emergency condition and they will be subjected to scrutiny in Nigeria; NAFDAC will have to examine them thoroughly before usage.
“All over the world, management of disease conditions and ill health revolves around new technologies and good medicines.
“Nigeria has since recognised the important role of research and development in the push to promote good health, wellbeing and economic development.
“The country has developed policies, institutions and programmes that support scientific research and development, like NIPRD.
“I call on development partners, foundations and philanthropic organisations to collaborate more with NIPRD in its bid to make Nigeria self-sufficient in medicine production,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Director-General of NIPRD, Dr Obi Adigwe, commended the minister for the ministry’s efforts at checking the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Adigwe said NIPRD was established to enhance the development and commercialisation of pharmaceutical raw materials, drugs and biological products, using indigenous natural resources.
He said that the institute had pioneered research and development of various medicines using local plants.
He therefore, called for improved funding to enable the institute deliver more on its mandate.
“Prioritisation and adequate funding of the sector are still suboptimal. Partners, such as philanthropic organisations and development partners are yet to align to government position,’’ he said.
He then called on all stakeholders to support NIPRD in its efforts at combating COVID-19 and other critical health issues.