The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has urged African countries to leverage science and technology for accelerated development in the continent.
The minister made the call at a virtual meeting of African ministers of science, technology and innovation in Abuja.
The purpose of the meeting was to exchange ideas on best practices on science, technology and innovation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that it was important that the collaboration and cooperation among African countries need to be sustained in order to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
The minister said the ministry had developed a strategic response in prevention, tracking, testing and treatment (PT3) in the short, medium and long-term to tackling COVID-19.
He emphasised that the ministry had done much in the area of education, including the production of specialised equipment for disinfecting public places.
“We have also in collaboration with Nigerian scientists at the University of Sheffield in the UK, developed an RNA- swift extraction kits.”
According to Onu, the testing kits are efficient, accurate and affordable and they were 20 per cent cheaper, compared to those produced in other countries.
He revealed that Nigeria was collaborating with researchers in the U.S. and preparing necessary protocols to produce local vaccines for COVID-19.
“We have made impressive progress in unlocking the tremendous potential in many medicinal plants in Nigeria.”
According to him, the ministry has assembled a panel of experts from the Nigerian Academy of Science, to verify and examine claims of possible cures and management of the virus.
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