Nigeria’s health sector needs $500 million annually for research – NCRC

NEWS DIGEST – Nigeria’s health sector needs nothing less than $500 million per annum to carry out concrete research that could be of impact on the economy, says Prof Poopola Ayo, Project Manager, Nigeria COVID-19 Research Coalition (NCRC).

Prof. Poopola, who disclosed this on Monday at the colloquium that took place in Abuja, organized by the coalition, noted that the proposition made by African Union (AU) is to set aside one per cent of their GDP as a contribution for research and development (R&D) for national growth.

“Currently, our National GDP is trending around $450 to $500 billion and one per cent of this is around $5 billion.

“Countries should set aside one per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a contribution for Research and Development (R&D),” he said.

According to him, this is the first time TETfund is capitalising on research and development that has an interface between the government, private sector and academia.

“TETFund used to concentrate on funding for research and development only in the tertiary education sector, but for the first time, it brought together five institutions that are having real-time business in terms of the development of vaccines in the country, using the COVID-19 model,” Ayo said.

He added that the National Veterinary Research Institute (NDRI), Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, the University of Jos and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) are among the institutions involved in the process, as they look at the reagent component that is needed so that the vaccine can be produced locally.

Also speaking, the Coordinator of NCRC, Dr Chinwe Ochu, while advocating for domestic funding for the pandemic and other health research in the country, stated that her organisation was set up to conduct COVID19 research, but regretted the absence of dedicated funding.