THE Federal Government is to partner with the Republic of Cuba in the production of drugs, vaccines and other health facilities which could prolong the lifespan of the Nigerian citizens.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who stated this while receiving the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Carlos Trejo, in his office in Abuja, said the Federal Government has the responsibility to make sure that the healthcare services were efficient and available for the benefit of the entire populace.
He stressed that Cuba was known to have excelled through research and innovations; hence, the reason Nigerian government was to collaborate with Cuba, especially on science and technology.
According to him, “by cooperating with Cuba, we will benefit in the area of drugs and vaccines, which will help to prolong the life of our citizens and the life expectancy of Nigerians, will be one of the best in the world.
“Cuba has been able to find vaccines which other countries have not done and in terms of health care, Cuba is ranked very high in the world.
“We should also be able to maintain the equipment used in hospitals and also grow research to encourage local manufacturing of drugs, which will help to strengthen our economy, help to diversify and also help us to migrate from this resource based to a knowledge based innovations economy,” he added.
He explained that his ministry was working hard to use the resources available in agencies under its preview to make sure that Nigeria produce food needed in the country.
Earlier, the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Trejor, said “we are to work with Nigeria in the health care system apart from drugs production and all other things so that many Nigerians who have been travelling abroad looking for treatment that could be managed in Nigeria will look back.
“We are trying to pay back our historical debt to Africa by bringing what we have achieved in many years, Cuba is highly involved in Africa, and we are engaged in the plans of 53 African nations. We are giving to Africa whatever is available to Cuba, to our brothers and sisters in this continent,” he explained.
He noted that Nigeria has the capacity to absorb high level collaboration in the field of science and technology, pointing out that, “we know Nigeria is very well ready and prepared to assume all new technologies and the population of Nigeria is highly in need of so many things.”