COVID-19: We are on the verge of developing a local vaccine to combat virus – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that the country is on the verge of developing a local vaccine to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Buhari noted that the pandemic outbreak last year revealed the potentials and ingenuity of Nigerian scientists.

While giving an update on the development of a local vaccine at a forum organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was virtually represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases, which is based at Redeemer’s University Ede, had “developed an efficacious rapid test for COVID-19 and have been made available to the public.”

“There are also efforts on therapeutics of different kinds,” he said. Automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are now helping to improve vaccines, experiments, and therapeutics. As a result, there’s a lot of synergies here between science and engineering.”

The President described Nigerian scientists as valuable assets that should be nurtured, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the nation’s scientists’ potentials, skills, and innovation while praising Nigerian engineers for their diversity of experience and competence.

“I believe the pandemic has genuinely opened up the tremendous talents and ingenuity of Nigerian scientists and engineers, and the next few years will be extremely exciting if the current momentum is sustained,” he said.

“We are proud of the Nigerian Academy of Engineers; your membership is made up of experienced Nigerian engineers from all disciplines, business sectors, and engineering in Nigeria and the diaspora,” he said. This gives it the breadth and variety of experience and expertise it needs to provide advice on virtually every aspect of engineering in the country.”

The President, speaking about the critical role of science, technology, and engineering in combating the pandemic, said that the world looked to these disciplines for “immediate solutions and answers.” As engineers, I’m sure you’ll accept that one of the most poignant lessons of the pandemic response has been the crucial interdependence of science and engineering.”

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