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Vaccine: Nigeria seeks $30m loan from W’Bank

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FEDERAL government has approached the World Bank in an effort to obtain a loan of $30 million for the purpose of building a vaccine plant in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that his regime is currently in talks with the World Bank to obtain funds channelled towards building a vaccine plant in Nigeria.

The President hopes that the vaccine plant which is to be built in collaboration with the Nigerian drugmaker, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, would commence next year.

Represented by his  Vice President Osinbajo, at the graduation ceremony of Senior Executive Course 43 participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, the President said, “Nigeria is in talks with the World Bank’s private lending arm and other lenders to raise about $30 million to help finance a vaccine plant – Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd, (with 49 per cent of the company owned by the Nigerian government and the balance held by May & Baker Nigeria Plc), plans to begin construction of the plant in the first quarter of next year.

“The plant will initially ‘fill and finish,’ which means importing the raw materials for the vaccines and then packaging them for distribution. Full manufacturing is expected to follow.”

Recall that earlier this year, in January, the federal government approved a total of N10 billion to support the production of local vaccines. The minister of health made this known in a statement where he said: “The ministry of finance has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production in collaboration with recognised institutions. We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in-country and have had discussions with a producer.”

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