Nigeria, Morocco sign Biotechnology Development Agreement

Benjamin Arida://

Nigeria and Morocco confirmed on December 17 the signing of a memorandum of under­standing for research and development in biotechnolog­ical products and processes, various Nigerian sources have reported.

The agreement, which was one of the outcomes of President Muhammadu Buhari’s state visit to Morocco in 2018, intends to cover a variety of research and development efforts into numerous biotechnological products,

The research also includes the production of Bio-fertilizer and Bio-fungi­cide, through the National Biotechnology Development Agency, NABDA.

Abdullahi Mustapha, Chief Ex­ecutive Officer of NABDA, noted that the work includes “potable water, wastewater treatment, disinfectants, gas treatment, reduction of sulphur dioxide, soil biodeg­radation, sulphur reducing bacteria, application of stem cells for diabetics and cancer related diseases, among oth­ers.”

Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, Mustapha pointed out that such vaccines involved rigorous processes and procedures, highlighting that research on the pro­duction of vaccine technolo­gy “have reached an advanced stage.”

In October, Nigerian Minister of Science, Ogbonnaya Onu, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN that “it is important for the two countries to cooperate in the field of science, technology and innovation (STI).”

The minister expressed his government’s willingness to utilize STI to take full advantage of Nigeria’s abundant natural resources in order to increase employment and GDP.

In May, Morocco’s efforts to develop South-South cooperation saw renewed diplomatic talks with the foreign ministers of Nigeria and Djibouti.

The news came after Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his gratitude to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, following the signing of a new fertilizer-related partnership worth $1.3 billion (MAD 11.7 billion).

Meanwhile, Morocco and Nigeria, as emerging countries and African leaders on many fronts, have considerable advantage in multiple sectors such as energy.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project has been progressing at a rapid pace since its proposal in December 2016. In less than five years, the project has reached the second phase of front-end engineering design.

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