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HomeTop NewsCBN provides N253.5 mln grants to five healthcare researchers under HSRDIS

CBN provides N253.5 mln grants to five healthcare researchers under HSRDIS

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday presented N253.54 million grants to five successful beneficiaries of the Health Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme.

The CBN had in the wake of the outbreak of the Coronavirus established the intervention fund for the purpose of promoting research in the health sector of the economy.

At the end of the process of selection, 286 proposals were submitted to the Body of Experts set up by the regulatory bank to vet the process out of which 68 were reviewed and evaluated with five proposals with significant merits valued at N253.54 million recommended by the experts for financing.

Speaking during the presentation of grants to successful beneficiaries in Abuja, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said that a vibrant and innovative healthcare system is vital for the country’s national security.

He said the regulatory bank launched the intervention fund to encourage research and innovation in the treatment of health conditions for Nigerian citizens.

Emefiele said that the recommended proposals also have the potential to enable the development of the Nigerian vaccine for COVID-19.

He said the grant award was a testimony to the significant role research and development in healthcare could play in supporting economic growth, particularly as growth was highly dependent on a strong and healthy workforce.

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Emefiele also noted that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which had an unprecedented effect on the world economy, underscored the fact that a healthy and safe workforce remained critical for continued economic growth as well as the stability of the financial system.

He equally emphasized that the need to move from a consumer-based economy to a more productive economy necessitated the CBN’s development of intervention programmes and schemes across various sectors including the health sector.

The CBN Governor said that the bank introduced the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS), as part of measures to support the growth of the Nigerian healthcare sector.

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The facility, he said was aimed at strengthening the sector’s capacity to meet the increasing demand for healthcare products and services, particularly pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare value chain players intending to build or expand capacity.

He disclosed that 82 projects, valued at N85.89 billion, comprising 26 pharmaceutical and 56 medical projects across the country had been financed through the HSRDIS.

While congratulating the recipients of the grant award, Emefiele urged them to judiciously utilize the opportunity offered to them by the CBN and strive to achieve the purpose of their research by ensuring that their projects meet the set targets.

He expressed optimism that the CBN HSRDIS grant will offer an average Nigerian access to the much-needed vaccines and drugs for not just COVID-19, but other communicable or non-communicable diseases.

In his remarks at the occasion, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha commended the CBN for what he described as the modest efforts of the bank at helping future generations to combat any outbreak of health pandemic.

He assured of President Muhammadu Buhari’s support to HSRDIS as the President had supported similar responses to curb the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Mustapha said the coronavirus pandemic had exposed the fragilities of different sectors of the economy and governance but called for a collective resolve to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.

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