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.Approves sale of two properties,proceeds of drug prosecution
Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
In line with her vaccine production indigenization policy, the Federal Government has unveil Serum Institute of India, as the technical partner to support the setting up the vaccine production plant in Nigeria.
Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire while briefing the press after the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting, Wednesday said the Indian Institute will partner Bio vaccine Nigeria limited to produce vaccines in other to reduce the quantity of vaccines imported into the country.
According to him, “As you know, government has a joint venture agreement and formed the company that’s called Bio vaccine Nigeria limited, which is to start producing vaccines domestically. Now, they are sourcing for international partners, who will join them and given them the technology transfer that they require. And after going to various countries, South Africa, Indonesia, they settled with a Serum Institute of India, which will now be the technical partner to support them in setting up the vaccine production plant in Nigeria.
“But of course, the Serium Institute of India is one of the largest vaccine producer in the world, and also has vaccines that are approved by World Health Organization. So all of our countries, including UNICEF, procure also from Serum Institute of India, and in the partnership, Serum Institute of India requires that you must have a certain order. It will help us to produce in Nigeria, who will buy and that’s what we call the market access because vaccines are not things you put on the shelves where people will go and buy like Panadol. They have been purchased by government and they are supposed to be administered by government by the Primary Health Care Development Agency.
“So government now has approved 15% of the vaccines that UNICEF normally supplies us for Bio Vaccine to supply, through contract manufacturing, Serium Institute of India will now be comfortable enough to come and join Bio vaccine of Nigeria, in building their manufacturing plant here in Nigeria in Ota.
“So that arrangement has now been approved by the Federal Executive Council for Bio Vaccine Nigeria to have 15 percent of the market share, which will be used for contract manufacturing of those vaccines as an initial step over the next few years when the plant in Nigeria starts to work. So that was the approval that council gave today.”
Speaking further on the matter, “Bio Vaccine Nigeria Limited is a joint venture company in which the federal government has 49% interest and private sector 51% interest. So they have a board in which the federal government has three members or they have four members. And the chairman is somebody who government nominated. So government is in the way empowering this country with which he shares to become the domestic manufacturer. Because by 2028 the support we used to get from GAVI to subsidize our vaccines will expire. And by that time, we should be producing our own vaccine domestically. And we are supporting Bio Vaccine Nigeria Limited to be that manufacturer soon in Nigeria.
“The contract manufacturing that was approved today will be done for Bio Vaccine. But before the end of this year, the groundbreaking will start because they are already drawing the plan, the structural plan everything is already completed, the survey has been done, the approval has been given and then with this partnership now, they will now break the ground and start building right away.
“It’s technology transfer. And it’s like bringing new technology and domiciling it with Bio Vaccine Nigeria limited. In fact, the staff training has already begun. Part of the training has been in South Africa, part of the training has been in South Korea and then of course, Serium Institute of India will now do the rest. And during the technology transfer of course, there will also be the handing over of knowledge and skills.”
On the spread of monkey pox in Nigeria, thetc minister said, “Well, monkey pox has been in Nigeria for quite a few years as the low grade problem. But although, it’s very unpleasant because there are very high mortality rates. So all over the 818 or 820 cases we have seen in Nigeria, there have not been more than seven fatalities. And those fatalities are those who had other illnesses and not necessarily those people that it caused their demise.
In another development, The Federal Government has approved the revaluation and sale of two properties earlier confiscated by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA at the cost of N18 and N20 million each as against N5 and N2miilion which they were earlier sold.
Ministry of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola disclosed this to newsmen after the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting on Wednesday.
According to the Minister, “we also propose that government approves the sale of two properties, at the 2001 rates, which were 18 and 20 million at the time, those were the market values of those properties, but they were sold at 5 million and 2 million in 2001.
“So we’ve said that government should approved, that the buyer should pay the open market rate at that time in order to consummate the transaction.
“They where properties sold as a result of the Proceed prosecution for narcotics by NDLEA, so they were proceeds of drugs, but the valuation process followed the NDLEA Act instead of the financial regulations. So, essentially those policy proposals were approved by the council.”
The minister also confirmed that the properties are situated at the high brow areas of Lagos Island.
Speaking further, the minister said the FEC also approved a policy memorandum which seek for a better enforcement of the financial regulations of government, especially the revise 2009 regulations with regards to valuation process for plants, equipment, land, property and machinery, and also how the schools off when they reach the end of life.
“This policy is premised against the context of the executive order 11 that enthrones maintenance, as a conscious government policy. And we think because of that, Government assets should last longer than the life cycle usually prescribed in the existing financial regulations, such as four years and nine years for other class of machineries.”
Also passed was a memo the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) which seek to revise estimated total cost of the contract for the provision of engineering infrastructure to Wasa Affordable Housing District in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
FCT minister Malam Mohammed Musa Bello said, “Council augmented the cost of the project to be completed in 42 months by N28,117,904,027.00 from the sum of N56,925,048,940.98 approved in 2014 to a new contract figure of N85,042,952,967.98 . The District has a total area of 367.11 hectares.”
Also, the council approved a contract to Mrsses Black Springs Limited to construct internal roads and drainages in NCDM gas hub located at Paloco in Bayelsa State.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva said, “The gas hub is to encourage the development of companies that will process our gas and develop our gas and to deepen the use of gas internally and to be able to process gas for export and to also construct cylinder.
“Already there are companies that are in the gas hub – Shell Nigeria gas is already located in the hub, Roll gas is already located in the hub. So these drainages and roads and the developments in that hub is expected to encourage more companies to come into that hub to be able to deepen and development of gas. This is in furtherance of commitments to the decade of gas as declared by Mr. President, from 2021-2030.”
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