By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—The federal government is to establish an International Reference Biorsources Centre for treatment of Lassa fever in Abuja.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, confirmed the plan while inaugurating the committee for the establishment of the centre in his office.
The minister promised that the ministry would provide what was needed to strengthen the relationship between the research institutes and organized private sector to actualize the plan.
He also promised that the ministry would look into the initiative and see how it could be incorporated into the ministry’s budgetary plan to encourage symbiotic relationship between the innovators and interested investors in the Research and Development sector.
With the establishment of the centre, he said Nigeria would earn foreign exchange and create job opportunities and increase GDP contribution to the economy.
He said: “Whatever that is needed to strengthen the relationship, we are going to do. We will look at what you have proposed today and see how it can be cooperated. There are so many areas we can strengthen relationship between research institutes and private sector.
‘’We are aiming to get to the point where our GDP will be multiplied from what it is today. We are confident that we will be self reliant. With this reference biotechnology centre, it is obvious that Nigeria will change the paradigm from resource to knowledge economy.
“We are very concerned about so many things like job creation, wealth creation, poverty reduction. We want a situation where our citizens will be empowered. We believe that this can be realized.” Many countries have achieved. “Government cannot do it alone, we have to work together with the organized private sector for us to get our country to where we want it to be which all of us desire.
“I believe Nigeria will achieve. It does not matter the difficulties or challenges. We have established a relationship between the government and the organized private sector. And we have been trying to promote a relationship between research institutes in the ministry, industry and the organized private sector, informal sector.”