The federal executive council (FEC) has approved a joint venture agreement between the federal government and May and Baker Plc to produce vaccines in the country.
Isaac Adewole, minister of health, made this known while speaking with state house correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the production will be from 2017 to 2021.
The minister said that based on the agreement, the federal government will own 49 per cent of the joint venture while May and Becker will own 51 per cent.
He also said the company will have an initial capital of N100 million and equity contributions of N1.3 billion and N1.27 billion.
Adewole also noted that the company’s board will be made up of seven people – four from May & Baker and three from the federal government.
“What council did today was to was put life into this joint venture agreement that proposes to establish a company called Bio-vaccines Ltd, which will be jointly owned by federal government of Nigeria and May and Becker Plc,” he said.
“The federal government is using existing facility at the Federal Vaccine Production Production Lab, Lagos, as our equity.
“And that has been assessed by the ministry of works and housing to be about N1.27 billion and May and Baker will put in about N1.3 billion in keeping with the 51, 49 per cent equity participation.
“Between 1940 and1991, Nigeria was not only producing vaccines, such as smallpox, yellow fever, and anti-rabies vaccines, but we also exported to Cameroon, Central African Republic and a few other countries.
“In 1991, the Vaccine Production Laboratory stopped production ostensibly because government wanted to reactivate and upgrade the facility, which did not take place till today.”
He also said FEC had mandated Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, to perfect the agreement “which was to further secure the lives of Nigerians since the production of vaccines is now considered a security issue”.
“Hopefully in the next two weeks, we should sign this agreement and we are ready to fly,” he said.
The minister said he also briefed the council on the meningitis outbreak, adding that the country was almost at the end of it. “What we are now doing is to prepare to ensure that this does not repeat itself next year,” he added.