The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnayan Onu on Thursday said RNA-Swift, a test kit for the identification of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19 has been developed and validated in the country.
According to the minister, who made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja, the move was to accelerate the capacity to test people and help effectively manage the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “The RNA-Swift has amazing precision for the detection of SARS-COV-2 and will be commercially available at a price that places it ahead of competitors in terms of sensitivity and affordability.”
The minister also stated that in the coming months, five million farmers would be tested with the RNA-Swift kits from the first 10 million kits to be produced.
“I want to confirm to you that the RNA-Swift product team is in consultation with the African Development Bank for the funding of an African-wide testing programme for COVID-19 and the establishment for RNA-Swift production in Nigeria,” he stated.
Recall that the Minister had a few years ago informed the nation that his ministry was working with an indigenous firm to commence the production of pencils in the country using old newspapers.
Dr. Onu said the firm had capacity to produce 2.4 million dozens of pencils per annum which will surpass local and sub-regional needs.
However, an investigative report by Ripples Nigeria had revealed that two years after, Onu, boasted that by the year 2018 Africa’s most populous black country will begin the production of wholly made pencils which was first mass produced in the 16th century, there was nothing on ground to show that the country would achieve the dream of producing pencils from scratch to finish.