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Nigeria must support local scientists for development – Osinbajo

The Federal Government has completed the acquisition of four energy distribution firms and established the board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, said for Nigeria to achieve its desired development, there was a need for the country to support indigenous scientists across the country.

He noted that the Nigerian scientists should get adequate support in the drive towards national development due to their centrality, especially in the age of technology.

Osinbajo stated this when he received, on a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa, a delegation of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health.

The NIRPD delegation, which was led by its Director-General, Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe, made a short presentation to the Vice President on its projects which focused on three thematic areas: uterine fibroids, prostate issues, men’s health, and sickle cell disorder.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday signed by the Vice President’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, titled, ‘No country in the world can develop further without contributions of its scientists – Osinbajo’.

The Vice President observed that it is becoming increasingly important to provide requisite incentives to encourage and reward local scientists.

“Here in Nigeria, obviously, we need a bit more in terms of being able to manage and reward talents so that people remain and they are able to do the work,” he said.

Prof. Osinbajo praised the NIPRD team for providing solutions to local issues and being able to deliver on its mandate within the limited resources while assuring them of the Federal Government’s continued support in improving their capacity and infrastructure.

“We should continue, and push even more, in that direction,” he added.

Acknowledging the work being done by the Institute in the areas of medical research and pharmacology, Osinbajo said he was proud of the amount of work being done by team.

“I’m truly proud of what is going on in NIPRD; the sheer amount of serious work that is coming out of there. And I am pleased that at least we are taking our scientists seriously. I don’t believe that there is any country in the world that can really appear to be doing well, not to talk of doing well, if they don’t take their scientists seriously.

“It is very evident that we must do something more serious about our scientists; and we must continue to ensure that they provide the leadership in terms of innovation, medical research, engineering, and all of the various other areas that are important to our development.”

Referencing the inadequate access to COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries at the height of the global pandemic, Osinbajo stated that “Africa needs to do a lot more in terms of developing capacity to solving our problems.”

“Everybody at the end of the day will solve their own problems. And I think that we have all the capacity to do so, and that capacity is very well represented in NIPRD, in the excellent talents and experience that you have put together,” he noted.

On his part, Adigwe commended Osinbajo for championing the progress and development of the Institute, noting that his remarks at the Institute’s conference in October 2021 were a major inspiration behind their ongoing projects.

While acknowledging the impact of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) regime on turning things around at the Institute, the DG said, “prior to this administration’s interest in the Institute, we had suffered decades of neglect. But with its interventions, we have now received over 100 new equipment.

“This now means that the Institute has emerged as one of the reference points in various thematic areas in Africa for the analysis that we do.”

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