Ambassador Samuela Isopi, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, made this revelation during an event in Abuja where the National Plan for Vaccine Research and Development and Local Production for the years 2024-2034 was presented.
The plan was formulated by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), with collaborative support from the EU and the Government of Bulgaria.
In Abuja, Prof. Leila Mathieu, representing Ambassador Isopi, emphasized the EU's alignment with Nigeria's priorities. She expressed the view that the development of the plan was opportune and perfectly timed.
In her words, "The minister of state for health is also in discussions with the EU to explore other aspects of the plan, taking it to the highest level."
“When we do a plan, we have to put money in research, but then manufacturing must follow.
“So, we are going to invest €18 million in research in vaccines in Nigeria with full grants to some public research institutions and other implementing partners.
“We will be working closely with your ministry and of course your public institutions on that and we will be working closely also in a Team Europe spirit with Bulgaria.
“Manufacturing of vaccines is a Team Europe initiative with Africa on a continental level so we have other partners at African level.
“I also heard from the minister that you were aiming at having a biomedical institute in the capital and that’s also something we could look into and link to research but probably also research on vaccines as well.”
Isopi added that the EU had several other smaller projects in the pipeline in Nigeria on public health institutions and digital health that it would develop.
The Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Yanko Yordanov, said that on his arrival to Nigeria three years ago, his ambition was to change the pattern from business as usual to acting as a strategic partner of Nigeria.
He said that the partnership with Nigeria in the health sector was regarded as a partnership and an investment in global health because Nigeria as a very big country was part of the global agenda for health care.