Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, says the country’s apex bank “is developing a framework” through which it can provide financial support to achieve a Nigerian COVID-19 vaccine.
Mr Emefiele said this at the unveiling of the THISDAY Dome testing, tracing, and treatment centre on Tuesday in Abuja.
The THISDAY Dome is expected to improve health facilities available to combat the viral disease.
On Monday, Nigeria recorded 242 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its total infections to 4,641, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The country has also recorded at least 150 deaths as a result of the virus.
“Needless to state that if we are to wait for foreign countries to develop their own vaccines, we will be the last in the queue to receive curative remedies for our teeming population,” Mr. Emefiele said.
He said the framework will involve grants and long term facilities that will be provided to “researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop the Nigerian Vaccine.”
Mr Emefiele said the CBN recently launched an N100bn healthcare intervention fund.
“Practitioners in the Pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors will be able to access finance at a single-digit rate through this fund,” he explained.
In a bid to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the Nigerian economy, the CBN has implemented several initiatives such as the provision of one trillion naira facility for firms operating in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, Mr. Emefiele said.
“We are also working with financial institutions to enable the continuous flow of credit to viable businesses while putting in place provisions such as moratoriums and restructuring of existing loans under CBN intervention funds, that have been provided to businesses,” he added.