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32 Nigerian universities team up to work towards the development of covid-19 vaccines

Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Abubakar Rasheed on Tuesday announced that 32 federal, state and private universities are conducting different stages of research to tackle direct and collateral impacts of COVID-19.

Prof. Rasheed, who was represented by Dr. Suleiman Yusuf, Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, stated this in Abuja at a news conference on the contribution of the Nigerian University System toward mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

He noted that the researches would be building up over the coming months.

According to him, the universities will not relent in their efforts until COVID-19 is consigned to history and lessons learned for tackling future national epidemics and global pandemics.

“As at June 22, not less than 32 universities are involved in different stages of research aimed at galvanising research toward the development of vaccines and non-vaccines.

“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system, which has proved inadequate and insufficiently robust enough to respond to the challenges.

“Only few institutions have been able to utilise open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities.

“Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organised national research and innovation system to catalyse the national response,” he said.

Prof. Rasheed added that in the area of Genomic research, the African Centres of Excellence (ACE), particularly the Centre for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s University, Ede was collaborating with the University of Cambridge for the development of vaccines.

He said other ACEs in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Universities of Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt and Jos, which served as national testing and screening centres, had proved that world-class research and development was possible in Nigeria.


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