CBN Approves N253.4m Grant To Researchers
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a N253.4 million grant to researchers as part of its policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, presented the grants to successful beneficiaries at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
The researchers are beneficiaries of the CBN Health Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS).
The apex bank said a total of 82 projects, valued at N85.89 billion, and comprising 26 pharmaceutical and 56 medical projects have been financed under the HSRDIS.
According to Emefiele, 68 of the 286 submissions received were reviewed by a body of experts and five proposals were recommended for financing.
The grant recipients are Olufemi Emmanuel Dokun-Babalola, Okoli Ikechukwu, John Ogedengbe, Garba Uba and O’tega Ejofodomi.
Emefiele said the recommended proposals have the potential to enable development of the Nigerian vaccine for COVID-19.
He explained that the grant testifies to the significant role research and development in healthcare could play in supporting economic growth, particularly as growth was highly dependent on a strong and healthy workforce.
The apex bank governor noted that the need to move from a consumer-based economy to a more productive economy necessitated the CBN’s development of intervention programmes and schemes across various sectors including the health sector.
While congratulating the recipients, Emefiele urged them to judiciously utilise the opportunity offered to them by the CBN and strive to achieve the purpose of their research by ensuring that their projects meet the set targets.
In his remarks, Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19, commended the CBN for its efforts in averting another health crisis.
He assured of President Muhammadu Buhari’s support to HSRDIS, adding that everyone must work together to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Mustapha added that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and efficacious, he urged members of the public to avail themselves the opportunity when the time to be vaccinated comes.