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By Samuel Oyadongha, YENAGOA

BAYELSA State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BioCubaFarma Consortium of the Republic of Cuba for the establishment of vaccines and pharmaceuticals production plant in the state.

State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Igwele, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investments, Patience Abah, signed for the state government while the First Vice President of BioCubaFarma, Dr. Mayda Pérez, signed for the consortium.

A statement by the Director, New Media to the Bayelsa State Governor, Dr. Kola Oredipe, said the partnership was in furtherance to an earlier bilateral agreement signed between the Nigerian government and that of Cuba on scientific cooperation, technology transfer, academic collaboration and the co-production of vaccines and other pharmacological products in the country.

Speaking at the event witnessed by Diri, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Igwele, said the partnership deal marked a milestone in the quest of the government to attract investments into the state.

His words: “This is a good development for us in Bayelsa State. The vaccines and other pharmaceutical products are in high demand in Nigeria and beyond. With the centre here, Bayelsa can serve other states and nations in the West African sub-region.

“In the next few months, the technical teams from both sides will work out further details of the agreement with the technical teams from both end.

“The vaccines and pharmaceuticals production centre will provide job opportunities, build expertise of young Bayelsans and also ensure technology transfer for sustainability of the plant.”

According to the statement, the state delegation also met with Deputy Governor of Havana Province, Cuba, Mrs. Yanet Parez and Vice Minister for Trade, Matanzas Province, Cuba, Ms. Deborah Saavedra to explore other business opportunities for the state such as sugar production, renewable energy, ICT and exchange programmes for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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