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How local drug manufacturing will boost Nigeria’s currency –NABDA

Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of NABDA

*Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency discloses application of the agency’s research efforts will boost indigenous pharmaceutical companies’ production capacity while facilitating the dairy industry and improved livestock genetics to ensure indigenous cattle increase their milk and beef production ability

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Poised to advance researches into tissue culture, drug and vaccine manufacturing, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), has said when indigenous pharmaceutical companies start production of drugs, the strength of Naira, Nigeria’s national currency will increase.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Mustapha stated this at a media briefing on the significance of the NABDA Establishment Act 2022 to national development Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Abuja, FCT.

Naira denominations

The Director-General of the regulatory agency also said that NABDA recently formalized partnership with the Government of Cuba in order to promote joint research in tissue culture, drug and vaccine manufacturing.

He stated: “At the moment, Nigeria imports 70 percent of medicines used in the nation. This collaboration holds the possibility of reducing it to about 20 percent in the next few years.

“One of the implications of this is that the era of substandard drugs is coming to an end as local production will lead to quality enhancement.”

Mustapha further noted that biotechnology is an accelerator of inclusive national growth, providing a knowledge-based approach to solving public problems and ensuring future sustainability.

The passage of the NABDA Act, he said, would advance the stimulation of rapid commercialisation of biotechnology research and development products and afford the agency a platform for collaboration.

The Director-General as well stated that the agency partner with relevant international centres, Non-Governmental Organisations, national and international biotechnology agencies, institutions, and ensure sustainable mechanism for adequate funding of biotechnology activities through national and international funding agencies.

According to him, the Act mandates the Agency to create public awareness of biotechnology application and its values in Nigeria’s development.

Mustapha said: “In fact, the Act recognises the imperative of public education for groundswell private-sector participation in biotechnology enterprises.

“It stipulates that the agency should coordinate and conduct `strong advocacy programs, seminars, conferences and workshops’ to foster multi-stakeholders’ cooperation for inclusive national development.”

He noted that the passage of the Act is a testament to Nigeria’s readiness to harness cutting-edge technologies for sustainable development, particularly those that guarantee better life for all Nigerians.

“With this development, we are optimistic that the agency will be able to consolidate Nigeria’s leadership in Africa’s biotechnology space, and launch the nation into the stratosphere of global economic players.

“The Act makes NABDA a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal,” said he.

Mustapha said the Act has also strategically pushed the agency to pursue its mandate of driving national development by ethically harnessing applications of biotechnology.

The NABDA Director-General enumerated these applications to include green biotechnology, which encompasses the agricultural field, red biotechnology, which relates to the medical field, blue technology which consists of the aquatic field and white biotechnology, relating to industrial domain.

Mustapha expressed optimism that the private sector participation in biotechnology would extend the frontiers of economic development and abate Nigeria’s over reliance on petrodollar.

He said the private sector participation is needed for mass production, commercialisation and supply to end users of the bio-digesters invented by the agency.

“These bio digesters which were locally fabricated with locally sourced materials would foster energy generation and efficiency,” he noted

Through its research activities, is facilitating Nigeria’s dairy industry and working on how to improve livestock genetics aimed at ensuring indigenous cattle increase their milk and beef production capacity.

Mustapha listed various research activities of the agency aimed at improving the livelihood of Nigerians while improving national economy.

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