The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to support the Federal Government to fast track the production of vaccines locally.
This followed the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to speed up local production of vaccines in Nigeria, sponsored by Rep. Chike John Okafor
Leading the debate on the motion, lawmaker disclosed that Nigeria spends over four billion Naira annually on importation of vaccines, an amount which can be saved if vaccines are produced locally.
Okafor told the House of a partnership agreement between the Federal Government and May and Baker Nigeria Plc, which if implemented, will improve the technical capacities and capabilities of Nigerian scientists and engineers and the value chain in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector especially in the area of vaccine production.
“A successful production of local vaccines will help the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health to effectively tackle outbreaks such as the recent outbreak of Gastroenteritis in Lagos which claimed lives and the current ravaging COVID-19.
“Local vaccine production will not only save Nigeria billions of naira from vaccine importation but will go a long way in guaranteeing availability of vaccines during routine immunization as well as exports to other African Countries, thereby cutting down the cost of vaccines in Nigeria”, he said.
Following the adoption of the motion through a voice vote, the House mandated its Committees on Healthcare Services, Health Institutions and Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria to invite the Minister, Federal Ministry of Health, the Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Executive Director, May and Baker Nigeria PLC to brief the Committees and deliberate on possible ways of getting the needed legislative support to fast track the production of vaccines in Nigeria.
The Committees are to report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.