By Chidinma Chukwu, Abuja.
Universities in Nigeria are making concerted efforts and contributions towards curtailing the spread and mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 global pandemic in the country.
To ensure this, the National University commission has launched a compendium compiled by its strategy advisory committee.
Addressing Journalists in Abuja,the Deputy Executive Secretary(Academics) National University Commission, Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf said the compendium contains reports from the thirty two federal, states and private universities in all the geopolitical zones targeted at tackling the direct and collateral impacts of COVID-19 using science, and innovation as technology tool.
According to him, the report contains authentic record of activities that are likely to contribute to the concerted efforts of the federal government to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“The performance of the African centers of excellence, particularly the center for the genomics of infectious diseases at the Redeemer University Ede in sequencing SARS-CoV2 virus, the collaborative development of vaccines with the university of Cambridge and as a pioneer national testing and screening centre and other ACEs in ABU, BUK, UNILAG, UNIBEN, UNIPORT, and UNUJOS that also served as a national testing and screening centers have proved that the world-class R&D work is possible in Nigeria” Ramon-Yusuf said.
The NUC added that the Nigeria university system can be readily effective and relevant to national development if research is valued and adequately funded and the institutions provided with resources to motivate researchers and innovators including students.
Dr Suleiman who explained that the pandemic has challenged the knowledge system stated how important it is for the country to engage in coordinated effort in terms of research in discovery and innovation.
There have been developments in the production of four products which includes sanitizers and their dispensing systems, hand washing devices, face masks, visors, covering, thermometer and other temperature sensing/measuring devices and ventilators of all types.
The commission also stressed the need to develop homegrown capabilities in the production and manufacture of the most basic medical and pharmaceutical production such as Personal Protective Equipment PPEs, WASH accessories and ventilators.
The Deputy Executive Secretary added that series of reports will be building up over the coming months, reporting efforts of other universities until COVID-19 is consigned and lessons learned for tackling future national epidemics and global pandemics.