Nigeria is to begin production of vaccines in Lagos this year, it was announced yesterday.
Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewole said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a proposal to go into a joint venture with pharmaceutical giant May & Baker. The government will hold 49 per cent equity and the company will have the rest.
According to the plan, the company will have an initial capital of N100 million and equity contributions of N1.3 billion and N1.27 billion.
“It will take off in 2017.The company will between 2017 and 2021 produce basic vaccines that we need,” the minister said. The Federal Government is converting the Institute of Vaccines Research where the new company will take off as its equity.
The company’s board will be made up of seven people, four from May & Baker and three from the federal Government.
He said: “FEC approved joint venture agreement between the Federal Government and Baker Plc to produce vaccines from 2017-2021.“The Federal Government is using existing facility at the Federal Vaccine Production Production Lab, Lagos, as our equity. And that has been assessed by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to be about N1.27 billion and May and Baker will put in about N1.3 billion in keeping with the 51, 49 per cent equity participation.
“Between 1940 and1991, Nigeria was not only producing vaccines, such as smallpox, yellow fever, and anti-rabies vaccines, but we also exported to Cameroon, Central African Republic and a few other countries.
“In 1991, the Vaccine Production Laboratory stopped production because the government wanted to reactivate and upgrade the facility, which did not take place till today.
Nigeria can produce most of things we import, pls give us light and good roads and watch Nigeria transform. Kudos to this administration for this initiative.