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Develop coronavirus vaccine, Emefiele challenges Nigerian scientists

Develop coronavirus vaccine, Emefiele challenges Nigerian scientists
May 12
16:34 2020

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has challenged Nigerian scientists to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Speaking on Tuesday at the unveiling of the THISDAY Dome Testing, Tracing & Treatment Centre in Abuja, Emefiele said the apex bank will step in with funding once the vaccine is validated by health authorities.

THISDAY Newspapers donated its dome in Abuja as a testing and treatment centre

“In order to encourage greater research and development in Nigeria of drugs and vaccines that would help prevent the spread of the virus, the CBN is developing a framework under which grants and long term facilities will be provided to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop the Nigerian vaccine.

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“Needless to state that if we are to wait for foreign countries to develop their own vaccines, we will be the last in the queue to receive curative remedies for our teeming population.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria today challenges Nigerian scientists at home and in the diaspora to go back to their laboratories and develop a Nigerian vaccine.

“Once validated by the health authorities, the CBN will step in and do the needful for the sake of over 200 million Nigerians now confronted by COVID-19.”

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According to the governor, the restoration of economic growth is dependent on how the public health crisis brought on by the coronavirus is addressed.

This is why, he said, the CBN launched an N100bn healthcare intervention fund which pharmaceutical and healthcare practitioners can access at a single-digit interest rate.

Listing other initiatives by the CBN, Emefiele said there is an N50 billion intervention facility for small and medium scale enterprises affected by COVID-19; in addition to an N1 trillion facility for firms operating in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

The CBN has also approved a moratorium and restructuring of loans under its intervention funds.

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