New Telegraph

FG urges pharmaceutical firms to explore TRIPS for vaccine production

The Minister of State for Industry,Trade and Investment, Ambassador Maryam Katagum, has urged the organised private sector to leverage the opportunities in Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to boost vaccine production in the country. According to her, underdeveloped economies have a five year waiver to use TRIPS to develop vaccines against future pandemic occurrences. She also reaffirm Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)’s commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry through standardisation.

Katagum stated this in Lagos at the 9th African Day of Standardisation 2022, themed: “Promoting the African pharmaceutical and medical devices industries through standardisation.” In her words: “That is why we are speaking to the pharmaceutical society and manufacturers on the need to take advantage of this opportunity, not because of COVID, but for other pandemic as well. So, we must have these vaccine facilities in place. “A country like Nigeria, we must have our own vaccine production facilities because there are other illnesses that are also endemic.

Some will be discovered in the future, some will mutate so that readiness, we cannot allow another pandemic to come.” The minister also reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to supporting SON in its bid to discharge its mandate, stressing that the commitment was evident in the recent approval secured for the standards body to return to the ports with a view to collaborating with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to tackle the menace of substandard at all entry points in Nigeria.

She, therefore, called on SON and all regulatory authorities involved in the industry to redouble efforts in ensuring that only goods and services that have complied with the laid down standards are available in the nation’s markets. Meanwhile, the Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, had restated the agency’s commitment to protect the pharmaceutical industry by offering the sector standardisation and certification services, saying that certification would go a long way to make the pharmaceutical industry attractive and competitive.

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