Nigeria is one of the first countries to develop cheaper and faster COVID-19 test kits, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo said on Tuesday in Abuja that such test kits would enable testing to be carried out in places experiencing kit shortages.
The vice president, who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Adeola Ipaye, said this in Abuja at the opening ceremony of i-FAIR Israel-Nigeria 2020/21 Innovation Programme, scheduled to hold from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, with the theme: `Transforming Ideas into Invention.’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the centre was created to provide a platform for Nigerian innovators to use in channeling their creativity into smart solutions, products, and prototypes.
He said that President Muhammandu Buhari promptly established the Economy Sustainability Plan (ESP) the moment the Nigerian economy took a massive but predictable hit.
“We have been able to disburse three role support funds to more than a hundred thousand beneficiaries.
“We have also concluded arrangement to deliver electric power via solar home system to more than five million households currently connected to the national grid.
“These projects are set to impact 25 million Nigerians.
“Also, the Economy Sustainability Plan is focusing on securing digital identity covering for millions of Nigerians,” Osinbajo said.
The vice president explained that no one could have predicted what the 2020 had in store, stressing that the year turned out to be a year of innovation, thinking outside the box, and creating solutions.
He said that such efforts had become the only route to the survival of the human race.
“Throughout the world and in diverse areas ranging, from contactless deliveries of food and supplies, software for infection-tracking and contact-tracing, to the most rapid but safe vaccine research and production, the efforts of science and creativity to hush the pandemic, have simply been a life saver in the true sense.
“This is what makes this year’s i-FAIR Innovation programme between Israel and Nigeria extra special,’’ he said.
Osinbajo further said that the advent of the global pandemic – COVID-19 – resulted in the diversification of creativity in the science and technology sector.
“This year we have moved very quickly from physical meetings to virtual, from physical contacts, hugs, and handshakes to facemasks, temperature checks and social distancing, yet life goes on at a relatively undoubted space faster on our faith on human adaptability and creativity.
“As we draw the curtains on the year 2020 and usher in 2021, we must rely more on science, technology and innovation to emerge prosperous from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in all sectors of the economy.
“Among others, healthcare, hospitality, agriculture, aviation, manufacturing, supply chain systems, and logistics have all been severely impacted by the pandemic,’’ he said.
He, however, observed that Nigerians had shown that they “have what it takes” to stay afloat in difficult times.
According to him, within a few months Nigerians have been able to activate testing laboratories in each of the 36 states of the federation.
“We have set up isolation and treatment centres, activated monitoring and tracing systems both for international arrivals and local communities’ infections.
“While going into lockdown at the most appropriate time, in spite of the imperfections of our healthcare systems, these measures have assisted in minimising the effects of the pandemic on our citizens and our communities,” he said. (NAN)