The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, Rep. Tanko Sununu, has commended the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) on its infrastructure improvement and groundbreaking research in the health sector.
Sununu commended NIMR during an oversight visit of the committee to the institution in Lagos.
He said, “We can see the benefit of the executive, legislative alliance because what we have seen here is evidence of that.
“When you compare what was here in 2019 when we visited and what is on the ground presently, it shows that there has been a tremendous improvement in terms of infrastructures and equipment in place.
“The institution has also done well in terms of research grants attracted within and outside the country to enhance their research.
“The last time we were here, we were told they attracted research grants of around 200,000 dollars but presently they attracted external research grants worth 6.4million dollars which is a significant increase.
“This shows that internationally, it has been observed that there is a transformation in NIMR and those giving the grants now have confidence in the ability of the institution to deliver.”
Sununu also said that the house would continue to promote policies that would support the usage of homegrown products.
“If what is being produced here in NIMR is not put into use, then the purpose for research has been defeated.
“They have produced COVID-19 test kits and other kits that should be used by our health institutions but I am not happy with the fact that we still import some of these things.
“If the Federal Ministry of Health mandates all the health institutions in the country to use NIMR test kits, they will all adhere to it; so I think the ministry should look into it,” he said.
He urged the management of NIMR to collaborate with government and non-governmental organizations to attract investment to further enhance the institution’s research capacity.
Also speaking, the Director-General of NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako, said that the institute was able to make significant improvements through improved capital and COVID-19 intervention received.
“I believe the changes seen today were because of improved capital and the COVID-19 intervention which provided us with the opportunity to upgrade our laboratories and improve the number of equipment.
“Some of the equipment that we never had but are very important to us on disease outbreak, especially the next generation sequencer and lots more were made possible,” he said.
Salako urged the government to promote policies that encouraged the use of homegrown solutions to combat diseases. (NAN)