Ahmed Lawan, president of the senate, says there is a need for the country to develop its own COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking to journalists after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, Lawan said Nigeria can’t rely on other countries for vaccines because it is “every nation to itself”.
“You know, this is one government where the legislature [and the executive] works together, and we have come to meet with Mr. president, to discuss issues of serious national concern; and one of those issues is the issue of supplementary budget,” he said.
“Both executive and legislative arms believe that we should have supplementary budget to provide for funding of the COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, as well as the security — providing more resources and platforms to our security agencies.
“As for the COVID, I believe that our country, Nigeria, should have some resources for our scientists to collaborate with other scientists from across the globe, to also have our own vaccine, because we can’t rely on what other countries are doing now. Every nation to itself, that’s what is happening.
“The US is not allowing vaccines to go out of US. EU is not allowing AstraZeneca vaccine produced in UK to be sent out of EU. India is not allowing AstraZeneca vaccine they produce to be exported. So, where do we go from here?”
Lawan, who admitted that there are great scientists abroad who are Nigerians, added that it is high time they brought the knowledge back home to produce vaccines for the people.
“We will have to fall back on our own capacities and abilities; and we have great scientists in this country. We have many Nigerians outside Nigeria, who are also helping to develop vaccines in other countries. So, why don’t you bring them home? Why don’t you put some resources so they will also produce ours locally here and take care of our population, and then later other African countries, especially our neighbours,” he queried.