Bayelsa State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BioCubaFarma Consortium of the Republic of Cuba for the establishment of vaccines and pharmaceuticals production plant in the State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is a fall-out of a 3-day investment visit to Cuba led by the state governor, Sen. Douye Diri.
The Bayelsa Commissioner for Health, Dr Pabara Igwele, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investments, Patience Abah, signed the MoU for the government at a ceremony in Havana, the Cuban capital.
Dr Mayda Mauri Pérez, the First Vice President of BioCubaFarma, signed for the Consortium.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Amb. Benaoyagha Okoyen, the Nigerian Ambassador to Cuba.
NAN reports that the MoU indicates that the partnership is in furtherance of an earlier bilateral agreement signed between the Nigerian Government and that of Cuba.
The earlier agreement is on scientific cooperation, technology transfer, academic collaboration and the co-production of vaccines and other pharmacological products in the country.
The Republic of Cuba has lately joined the league of nations that have gained international recognition for its medical breakthroughs and advancements.
Igwele said the partnership deal marked a milestone in the quest of the government to attract investments into the State.
“This is a good development for us in Bayelsa State.
“The vaccines and other pharmaceutical products are in high demand in Nigeria and beyond.
“With the centre here, Bayelsa can serve other states and nations in the West African sub-region.
“In the next few months, the technical teams from both sides will work out further details of the agreement,” he said.
The commissioner said the vaccines and pharmaceuticals production centre would provide job opportunities, build expertise of young Bayelsans and also ensure technology transfer for sustainability of the plant.
Also, as part of the visit, the Bayelsa State delegation met with Deputy Governor of Havana Province, Cuba, Mrs Yanet Hernandez Parez and Vice Minister for Trade, Matanzas Province, Cuba, Ms Deborah Rivas Saavedra.
The meeting was to explore other business opportunities for the State.
The officials discussed ways of exploring business opportunities on sugar production, renewable energy, ICT and exchange programmes for students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Others who joined the governor for the various meetings were Mr Fred Agbedi, member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, Vice Chancellor, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa and Retired Major Lancelot Anyanya, among others.