PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that Nigerian scientists working in vaccine in collaboration with Digital Immune Optimised Synthetic Vaccines in Cambridge in the UK are close to producing a local coronavirus vaccine.
Speaking yesterday at a forum organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, President Buhari who was virtually represented by vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said that Nigeria was keen to become a major vaccine producer too. He noted that the African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Disease located at Redeemer’s University Ede, had already developed an efficacious rapid test for Covid-19 and has started work on the vaccine.
President Buhari said: 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.”
He described Nigerian scientists as worthy assets to be nurtured, saying the Covid-19 pandemic had revealed the potential, talents and the creativity of the nation’s scientists. Also, the president commended Nigerian engineers for the diversity of their experience and competence.
“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. We are proud of Nigerian Academy of Engineers as 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. 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,” President Buhari added.