The government of Nigeria has listed Biomedical entrepreneurship and Biotechnology as some of the key initiatives it intends to deploy in the renewed drive to transform the country’s health sector.
This was revealed by the country’s coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate in Brussels, Belgium where he met with key partners like the European Commission, European Investment Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation European Office, and several global and regional private sector investors and industry leaders that country would be relying on to drive the transformation alongside Nigerian and African startups, businesses, and leaders.
Stating this on his verified X account, @muhammadpate, on Sunday, the minister disclosed that Nigeria’s health sector value chain is ripe for transformation, expressing optimism that with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s initiative, Nigeria would achieve this in an unprecedented manner.
“As part of the 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐕𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞, we will soon announce key steps towards a major venture / equity fund. This will come as a strategic structural intervention to shape the biomedical entrepreneurship space in Nigeria looking towards the promising pan-African landscape. And this will be something the European, and indeed other investors, will find very exciting,” Pate stated.
He further disclosed that his co-minister from the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, is also committed to support the initiative via enablement policies, some of which he said will be manifested in the Executive Order (EO) to be developed for consideration by the President.
According to Pate, “This will enable Nigerian manufacturers to thrive and, importantly, spur the flow of foreign direct investments in health.”
As part of the transformation strategies, he also the government is also targeting the training of health talent through EU-Africa scholarly exchanges in a bid to explore managed migration in the health sector.
He also noted that there is a strong potential to advance medical textiles manufacturing, malaria, and a closed franchise on cardiovascular and breast cancer diagnostics which the country hopes to maximize.
Speaking on some of the key lessons learned from the visit to Brussels, the minister said, “We also learned a lot of lessons from key private sector actors and university players on the evolution of the Belgian biotechnology ecosystem. Great insights on how Belgium appropriately enabled its private sector to be among the most productive in Europe.
Pate, in the last two days, led a high level multi-sectoral delegation of the President’s team to Brussels, comprising of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite and the Minister of State for the FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure
Also, we had the National Coordinator of the Health Care Value Chain Initiative, Dr. 𝐀𝐛𝐝𝐮 𝐌𝐮𝐤𝐡𝐭𝐚𝐫, DG National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe, and FCT Mandate Secretary for Health Dr. Dolapo Fasawe.
The team’s objective was to engage in dialogue and explore mutually beneficial collaboration opportunities between the key European public and private sector entities to advance Nigeria and Africa’s aspiration to optimize the health care value chain and improve health security.
“As we leave Brussels, Belgium, “capital” of the European Union, to head home to Abuja, we have a strong sense of fulfillment and appreciation for the great support and encouragement we received all around,” Pate stated.