Buhari reveals important things COVID-19 did for Nigerian scientists

President Buhari says COVID-19 pandemic revealed the potentials, talents, and creativity of Nigerian scientists

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said COVID-19 pandemic revealed the potentials, talents, and creativity of Nigerian scientists.

The president spoke at a public forum organized by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering.

Buhari, who was represented by his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said, “I think the pandemic has truly opened up the immense talents and creativity of Nigerian scientists and engineers and if the current momentum is supported, the next few years could be incredibly exciting.”

He said he was proud of Nigerian Academy of Engineers, with membership made up of accomplished Nigerian engineers across all disciplines ,industry sectors of engineering in Nigeria and in the diaspora.

“This provides it with the depth and diversity of experience and competence to provide advice on virtually all areas of engineering in the country,” he said.

Speaking on the important role of Science, Technology, and Engineering in dealing with the pandemic, the President noted that the world “turned to these disciplines for immediate solutions and answers. I am sure that as engineers, you will agree with me that one of the most poignant lessons of the response to the pandemic is the critical interdependence of science and engineering.”

Giving an update on the production of a local vaccine, Buhari said that the African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Disease located at Redeemer’s University Ede, has “developed an efficacious rapid test for COVID and have been working on a vaccine in collaboration with DIOSynVax (Digital Immune Optimised Synthetic Vaccines), Cambridge UK, using the DIOSynVax genomic-based technology.”

“There are also efforts going on therapeutics of various kinds. The development of vaccines, tests, and therapeutics these days are aided by automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, so this is a strong point of synergy between science and engineering.”

Citing the opportunities presented during the lockdown period, Buhari stated the “huge potential for the creation of effective technologies for telework activities, including Telemedicine and Fintech.”

The President recalled his Executive Order Nos 5 which directs all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (“MDAs”) of government to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design, and execution of national security projects and maximize in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with science, engineering and technology components.