President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that Nigeria ws very close to producing local vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19 pandemic.
This is just as he also disclosed that the outbreak of the pandemic last year exposed the potentials and creativity of the Nigerian scientists.
Speaking yesterday at a forum organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, the President who was virtually represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while giving an update on production of a local vaccine, noted that the African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Disease located at Redeemer’s University Ede, had “developed an efficacious rapid test for COVID-19 and have been working on a vaccine in collaboration with DIOSynVax (Digital Immune Optimised Synthetic Vaccines), Cambridge UK, using the DIOSynVax genomic based technology.”
He said: “There are also efforts going on therapeutics of various kinds.The development of vaccines, tests and therapeutics these days are aided by automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. So, this is a strong point of synergy between science and engineering.”
The President described the Nigerian scientists as worthy assets to be nurtured, saying the COVID-19 pandemic had revealed the potentials, talents and the creativity of the nation’s scientists, while commending the Nigerian engineers for the diversity of their experience and competence.
According to him, “I think the pandemic has truly opened up the immense talents and creativity of Nigerian scientists and engineers and if the current momentum is supported, the next few years could be incredibly exciting.”
He commended the Academy and its membership saying, “we are proud of Nigerian Academy of Engineers; your membership is made up of accomplished Nigerian engineers across all disciplines industry sectors of engineering in Nigeria and in the diaspora. This provides it with the depth and diversity of experience and competence to provide advice on virtually all areas of engineering in the country.”
Speaking on the important role of Science, Technology and Engineering in dealing with the pandemic, the President noted that the world turned to these disciplines “for immediate solutions and answers. I am sure that as engineers, you will agree with me that one of the most poignant lessons of the response to the pandemic is the critical interdependence of science and engineering.”