More than three days after President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed that Nigeria has received the Madagascan native formulation against the Covid-19 pandemic, Covid-Organic, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), the Nigeria agency responsible for the development of drugs and vaccine said it is yet to receive a sample for analysis.
While receiving the drug on Saturday, President Buhari stated that “We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification, ” adding that he would not put it to use without the endorsement of the institutions.
“We haven’t received any sample of covid organic and we haven’t received any indication that we need to undertake some work,” Obi Peter Adigwe, the Director-General of NIPRD said on Sunrise Daily, a Channels TV breakfast show on Tuesday.
Faced with an increasing rate of Covid-19 cases at more than 6000 on Monday, Nigeria recently requested for the Madagascar formulation which has been speculated to have the potency to kill the Coronavirus.
The Covid-Organic drug is said to have effectively weakened the deadly virus that has killed several people across the globe.
Meanwhile, before the Covid-Organic drug arrived in Nigeria, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha had stated that it would be cyclically analysed by NIPRD and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) before it can be administered to any patient in Nigeria.
Explaining why NIPRD may have not been engaged yet Adigwe said: “You know how government works, there are certain bureaucratic processes that need to be undertaken,” adding that “the fact that as at this morning we haven’t received it does not mean we’ll not receive it in the next day or so.”
Established by Government Order No. 33 Vol. 74 of 11th June 1987 Part B under the Science and Technology Act Cap 276, NIPRD is a Federal Government Parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health and is statutorily charged with the responsibility for research and development of drugs, vaccines, phytomedicines, commodities, and diagnostics aimed at improving sustainable access to safe, affordable and high-quality healthcare.
NIPRD also undertakes activities relating to capacity building, policymaking, data collation, drug distribution and the development of contextual partnerships that can expedite access to safe, affordable and high-quality healthcare.
While explaining the importance of local developments of drugs and vaccines, Peter said a number of countries will potentially depend on Madagascar during and post-covid-19 pandemic for the Covid-organic drug as a result he said the “country will be in a part contributing to helping in addressing health care concerns within their population as well as stimulating socio-economic development for their people.”
On how this will play out, the DG said as Madagascar exports the Covid-Organic drug it will have a multiplier effect on a lot of the country’s industries, spanning from farmers to processing, packaging, and disruption industry.
“People are being employed and they are generating a significant amount of socio-economic activities, Peter said.
On how soon the NIPRD will produce a drug that can weaken or cure the novel virus Adigwe said:” as soon as we get funding.”