The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a process that would enhance the indigenisation of vaccine production in Nigeria.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said this Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The council considered a memorandum from the Ministry of Health today, which has to do with the first stage in indigenizing vaccine production in Nigeria, the standard programme on immunization, not COVID-19 vaccine.
“As you know, the government has a joint venture agreement and formed the company called Bio Vaccine Nigeria Limited, which is to start producing vaccines domestically. Now, they are sourcing for international partners, who will join them and give them the technology transfer that they require.
“And after going to various countries, South Africa, Indonesia, they settled with a Serum Institute of India, which will now be the technical partner to support them in setting up the vaccine production plant in Nigeria. But of course, the Serium Institute of India is you have engaged the largest vaccine producer in the world, and also has vaccines that are approved by World Health Organization.”
He further disclosed that with this development, Serium Institute of India will join hands with Bio Vaccine Nigeria, to build their manufacturing plant in Nigeria, to be located in Ogun State, with the Nigerian company having 15 percent of the market share.
“So who will buy it? So government now has approved 15% of the vaccines that UNICEF normally supplies us for bio vaccine to supply to through contract manufacturing, Serium Institute of India and with this, Serium Institute of India will now be comfortable enough to come and join Bio Vaccine of Nigeria, in building their manufacturing plant here in Nigeria in Ota.
“So that arrangement has now been approved by the Federal Executive Council for Bio Vaccine Nigeria to have 15 percent of the market share, which will be used for contract manufacturing of those vaccines as an initial step over the next few years when the plant in Nigeria starts to work. So that was the approval that the council gave today,” he said.