The World Trade Organization (WTO) has stated that Nigeria and Africa need to strengthen their manufacturing capacities in order to produce vaccines.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said this on Tuesday during her visit to the ministry of industry, trade and investment, in Abuja as a follow-up to the 12th WTO ministerial conference that took place in Geneva, Switzerland.
Okonjo-Iweala said it was not good that Africa imported 99 percent of its vaccines and 95 percent of pharmaceutical products.
She added that the restrictions made by developed countries on vaccines going to developing nations should serve as an eye-opener to affected countries.
Okonjo-Iweala further said that the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) agreement had made provisions for any country with the capacity to override patent rights and manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine, thereby encouraging Nigeria to take advantage of the opportunity.
“We should have our capacity to manufacture vaccines. We are also looking at extending it to include therapeutics and diagnostics,” she said.