We approached the World Bank for a $ 30 million loan to build a vaccine factory – Buhari

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The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), revealed that his regime was in talks with the World Bank for $ 30 million to build a vaccine factory in Nigeria.

He said he hoped that the vaccine plant to be built in collaboration with May & Baker Nigeria Plc would start next year.

Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, informed Jos on Saturday during the graduation ceremony at the Senior Executive Course 43 participants from the National Institute of Political and Strategic Studies.

The event was attended by the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, among other dignitaries.

Speaking through Osinbajo, the president said, “Nigeria is in talks with the private lending arm of the World Bank and other lenders to raise around $ 30 million to help fund a vaccine factory – Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd, (with 49 percent of the company owned by the Nigerian government and the remainder held by May & Baker Nigeria Plc), plans to start construction of the plant in the first quarter of the year next.

“The factory is going to ‘fill and finish’ first, which means importing the raw materials for the vaccines, and then packaging them for distribution. Full fabrication is expected to follow.

Buhari said without his government’s providence and good policies, the COVID-19 pandemic would have wreaked unimaginable havoc on the Nigerian economy.

He said: “GDP contracted to -6.10% in the second quarter of 2020; the price of oil at one point was around $ 10 a barrel and then finally settled at around $ 45 a barrel in the second quarter of 2020.

“Unemployment climbed to 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020; the transport sector fell by 49 percent; the hospitality sector fell by 40%; the education sector fell 24 percent; real estate fell 22 percent; trade fell by 17 percent and construction by 40 percent.

“Nigeria was in a terrible economic situation and in response the President took two quick steps. One was to set up a small inter-ministerial committee headed by Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed to quickly determine the implications and immediate mitigation of the economic shocks we were heading towards.

“The second thing the president did quickly was lead a team of ministers and interagency leaders to develop a 12-month economic emergency plan, which became known as the economic sustainability plan.

“We were clear that the only way to avoid an economic disaster that could last for years was for the government to essentially come up with a major fiscal stimulus package. Such a plan must have clear objectives of saving jobs and creating new ones, support for businesses that might close and employees who might not be paid during shutdowns and, of course, support for healthcare. health care to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. So we quickly proposed a stimulus package in the order of 2.3 trillion naira. ”

Previously, the Director General of NIPSS, Brigadier. General Chukwuemeka Udaya (retired) said 85 participants in the senior management course passed out during the ceremony.

According to him, the participants visited 14 states in Nigeria and also visited six African countries and five countries outside the continent during the course for senior managers which began in February 2021.

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