The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said the development of vaccines by Nigerian scientists would enhance its acceptance by Nigerians.
The governor noted that the hesitancy being recorded in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise may be linked to a lack of local input in the manufacturing processes.
Obaseki, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, said this while addressing the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, who was on a courtesy visit to the Government House, Benin City, the Edo State Capital.
According to him, “Science cannot be overlooked. Today, we are finding it difficult advocating, educating and appealing to our citizens to take the vaccines because they were not made in Nigeria
“If we have a system in place to manufacture the vaccines in Nigeria, I doubt that the level of enforcement that we are putting in place to curb hesitancy will be this strong.
“When our sons and brothers are the ones in the laboratories manufacturing the vaccines, there is going to be an attachment and belief that what they are doing is for the interest of their kinsmen. It is not going to be questioned as we are seeing today.”
“But when everything has to be foreign, then there would be issues. We have all it takes. Nigerians are gifted: We can achieve anything that we want to achieve in this country,” he added.
Noting that there was a need for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to actively promote research and innovation, he said, “Your ministry is a very sensitive and important one, especially in the 21st century.
“Coronavirus has exposed a lot of things. We have a lot to do together. For us in Edo, we are taking advantage of our young population to create a technology hub. We are creating opportunities for our people to exhibit their skills. We want them to innovate and develop ideas .
By Eghosa Ovia