Intensify Researches in Developing COVID-19 Vaccines, Buhari Tells Varsities

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Francis Sardauna in Katsina

President Muhammadu Buhari has admonished Nigerian universities to intensify their researches in order to develop COVID-19 vaccine to tackle the dreaded virus afflicting the country.

He explained that Nigerian universities were supposed to be centres for scientific and technological discoveries, inventions, values and character formation, as well as drivers of societal development.

The president, who disclosed this in Katsina Saturday during the 5th and 6th combined convocation of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, said the development of the vaccine would fortify Nigerians’ immune system against the virus.

Buhari, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemaka Nwajiuba, noted that his administration remained committed to tackling the challenges of sustainable funding for research, capacity building and employment creation.

He said: “You all know that in the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began its devastating effect on the education sub-sectors leading to the destruction of university academic activities.

“I therefore urge and encourage the universities to intensify their researches to come up with a more potent vaccine to fortify our immune system against this dreaded virus.”

Buhari also tasked the universities to explore available opportunities, including research collaboration with allied industries and development partners to create other sources of revenue generation in order to support his economic diversification drive.

He, however, said the federal government was committed and determined to combat and defeat all acts of criminality across the country for meaningful development to thrive.

“Our security is a collective responsibility. We must join hands with the government by providing security agents with useful information to enable proactive mitigation of any of these occurrences,” he added.

The vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi, urged the federal government to dig trenches around the main campus of the institution because of the current security challenges in the country.

He said the university has graduated 1,201 students with 56 first class, 92 postgraduate, one PhD, 24 masters students, 19 professional diplomas and 48 PGD in different academic programmes.