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The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the current COVID-19 pandemic, has taught Nigeria and other developing countries the need to develop their indigenous technology in order to solve their challenges.
Speaking during a facility visit to the SHEDA Science and Technology Complex (SHETSCO) on Thursday in Abuja, Dr. Onu said it is only by developing indigenous technology that Nigeria could defeat poverty and unemployment.
The Minister was at SHETSCO to inspect its products and inputs into covid-19 management in Nigeria.
He urged the scientific community to intensify research efforts to improve the country. In his words, “You must continue to research on products, to ensure sustainability and ensure competitiveness of the research products”. Dr. Onu further said that the Ministry will support SHETSCO in its research efforts on Covid 19 so as to minimize loss of lives.
The Ministry he added, will collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control for the utilization of the various products of the Ministry’s research agencies.
Earlier, the Director of Biotechnology Research Centre, Dr. Odusanya, said SHEDA Science and Technology Complex (SHETSCO) is collaborating with Chinese Scientists to develop testing kits based on Aptamer technology, that will help to detect the COVID-19 virus in less than 30 minutes.
According to Dr. Odusanya, the new aptamer-based test kits are cheaper and could test more people at a short time.
He further said that the test kits could be locally produced by nano-particles which are available in Nigeria adding that SHETSCO is also collaborating with international organizations to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the testing kits.
The testing kits, he added will be made available to the public, after it has been approved by the NCDC (Nigerian Center for Disease Control) and International Drug Agency.