Tuesday, 09 March, 2021

FG, Appoints Prof Marte And Other Experts To Reposition Health Sector Beyond Covid-19


Professor Hussaini Isa Marte, is among the 8 Nigerian Board of Experts (BoE) that inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, for the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Professor Marte, is an erudite scholar a celebrated Scientist, pharmacologist and fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science.

Prof. Marte who also carry out extensive research on reasons for the low COVID-19 incidence and fatality rate in Africa.

He is also an expert in cancer research and is currently undertaking and exploring the use of local herbs for cancer therapy.

Another major achievement recorded by Prof Marte in recent time was in the area of Ministry of Higher Education where he serves as its Commissioner paid 23, 894 students studying both at home and abroad. Something that had not happen in the last six years in the state.

During the inauguration Boss Mustapha stressed that the current corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic had uncovered the gaps in the country’s health, governance, security infrastructure. While commending the good efforts of the CBN at addressing the flaws in the public health system through its landmark intervention, the SGF added that the pandemic represented Nigeria with a fresh opportunity to reposition its health system and redress all the deficiencies in the sector as well as other infrastructure. Mr. Mustapha expressed confidence in the composition of the body to deliver on this call to national assignment, stressing that the CBN intervention would set Nigeria’s healthcare system on the path of recovery

The Board of Experts chaired by the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye and the other experts of the body which include Prof. Babatunde Lawal, Professor Richard A. Adegbola, Prof. Alex Akpa, Prof. Abdulhamid Ahmed, Dr. Chinwe Lucia Ochu and Dr. Philip Fafowora Builders.

In his remarks, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said the Body of Experts (BOE) was established to review and evaluate submitted research proposals and provide recommendations for financing the identified Research and Development proposals.  The CBN Governor disclosed that 20 projects valued at N26.278 Billion had been funded under the N100billion credit support intervention for the healthcare industry, adding that the CBN HSRDIS was designed to increase Nigeria’s research and development activities to support the development of validated Nigeria-made vaccines, drugs and herbal medicines.

He further added that the CBN would provide grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes, to boost domestic capacity to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable or non-communicable diseases. Stressing the need to support capacity of relevant health agencies towards attaining World Health Organisation (WHO) Maturity Level 3 prerequisite for manufacturing of vaccines in Nigeria, Mr. Emefiele said the Bank would facilitate partnership between academia (researchers, research institutes and universitas) and industry to research and develop drugs, phytomedicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria. Emefiele said a major objective for the Bank was also to reduce dependence on imported drug products (synthetic and herbal) and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria. “Attention will be paid to research projects with high potential to contribute to the development of the Nigerian vaccines that will help curb the spread infectious diseases.  All submissions will be subjected to strict scientific and empirical scrutiny considered to be best in class,” Emefiele said.

In her remarked the Chairperson of the Body of Experts and DG, NAFDAC, Prof. Adeyeye assured that the body “will be guided by professionalism and truth by ascertaining how best the hypothesis driven questions raised in the proposals will be answered. She noted that the success of the exercise will increase access to medical products which could impact positively the health of our population, create jobs and expand trade whilst reducing the over dependence on importation and further enhance local production.

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