The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has called on African countries to pay more attention to Science and Technology so as to enhance the development of the continent.

Dr. Onu made the call in Abuja during a virtual meeting of African Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation on Thursday.

The meeting was initiated to exchange ideas on best practices on Science, Technology and Innovation in response to Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Onu said it is important that the collaboration and cooperation among African countries be sustained in order for them to surmount the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister also spoke of efforts being made by Nigeria to provide home-grown solutions to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Dr. Onu, his Ministry developed a strategy of Prevention, Tracking, Testing and Treatment (PT3) in the short, medium and long-term basis for responding to the Covid-19.

In the area of prevention, Dr. Onu said the Ministry has done so much including production of specialized equipment for disinfecting public places.

“We have also, in collaboration with Nigerian scientists at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, developed an RNA- Swift Extraction kits”, the Minister added. 

Dr. Onu further said the testing kits are efficient, accurate and affordable, as they are 20% cheaper in comparison to current foreign produced ones.

Dr. Onu also disclosed that Nigeria is collaborating with researchers in the United States and preparing necessary protocol to enable her produce local vaccines for Covid-19.

He added “ We have made impressive progress in unlocking the tremendous potentials in many medicinal plants in Nigeria”.

Dr. Onu said the Ministry has assembled a panel of experts from the Nigerian Academy of Science to verify and examine claims of possible cures and management of the virus.

He called for sister African nations to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to intensify and pay more attention to the development of STI. He further called for collaboration among African countries to enable the fight against the pandemic be a huge success.

The Minister also informed his counterparts of the current statistics of Covid-19 in Nigeria as at 17th August 2020. Nigeria, he said has 49, 600 confirmed cases with 36, 834 discharged while 11,674 were considered active. Nine Hundred and Seventy-seven were confirmed dead.





19TH AUGUST 2020.