Remarks by President Jonathan at the official commissioning of the Main Administrative and Laboratory Complex of NIPRD
His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
The Commissioning Ceremony of the Main Administrative and Laboratory Complex of the
National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development Idu
Thursday 20 th February, 2014
1. I am truly delighted to be here with you today, to officially commission the Administrative and Laboratory Complex of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIRPD), one of our country's major research and development facilities.
2. Research and Development (R&D) is critical to our national technological and scientific advancement, and our quest to become one of the World's 20 largest economies. Research and Development (R&D) is one of the pillars of our efforts at National Transformation.
3. In today's global economy, a nation's competitive edge is determined by its achievements in science and technology, triggered by its research and development competence. Research and development has transformed major economies and accelerated the evolution of major global economic powerhouses.
4. Our transformation Agenda and the NEEDS documents, therefore, emphasized that indigenous capability and manpower in Science & Technology must be developed for our country to sustain steady economic and social progress.
5. Given this national imperative, our administration has placed high premium on the development of our national research and development capability. In the over 50 Research Institutes and centres, and over 100 universities around the country, we have developed policies and programmes that support scientific research at the national and state levels.
6. Our nation is richly endowed with human, natural and trado-medicinal bio-resources. However, because our natural, trado-medicinal, and bio-resources remain largely under-exploited, our markets are flooded with foreign medicinal products.
7. This trend needs to be reversed. As a necessary step, my administration has put in place measures to promote indigenous herbal products, for our local needs and export.
8. The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development was established to respond to Nigeria's research and development needs in the Pharmaceutical sub-sector and I am pleased that the Institute has remained a first class pharmaceutical research institute and a Centre of Excellence.
9. Over the years, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development has grown into an institution of international repute, with demonstrable capacity in the development of phyto-medicines, biological and pharmaceutical products.
10. Indeed, it has also made some outstanding research breakthroughs in some common diseases of public health concern such as Sickle Cell Disease, Malaria, and Diabetes, amongst others. Of particular importance and commendation is the Institution's ground breaking discovery of a potent anti-sickling agent – NIPRISAN, a discovery through original research, which has won worldwide acclaim.
11. Ladies and Gentlemen, these policies and programmes which we are pursuing as priority, are aimed at achieving the rapid and holistic transformation of our beloved country. Our target is to align the country's drive for economic development with improvements in the overall welfare of our citizens.
12. The completion of this project, here at the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, is yet more proof of government's commitment to the provision of infrastructure, and the creation of the enabling environment to strengthen the National Health Services.
13. I would like to congratulate the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as the Governing Board, Management and Staff of this institute on this milestone achievement. I would also like to commend the efforts and contributions of all key stakeholders towards the realization of this laudable project. Without a doubt, the ambience of this facility's work environment will stimulate greater output from the personnel.
14. Let me reiterate that Government will continue to provide the needed support for this institute to fulfil its obligation to our nation. I call on other stakeholders and our development partners to do likewise.
15. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am certain that research, relevant to national needs, will accelerate national development, and so, I challenge the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development to continue in the vanguard of result oriented pharmaceutical research that will lead to the improvement of the health and economic status of all Nigerians, and expand our contribution to the global industry.
16. I wish to reassure all Nigerians that my administration will continue to work for the greater good of the welfare of our people and paying attention to the health of our citizens is most important and urgent. We are committed to this task.
17. I thank you.