Prof. Lucy Ugbado, the Director-General, the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) on Sunday said a lot of research work was going on the cure for Sickle Cell Anaemia.
Ugbado disclosed this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
She said that agency was working with the private sector and with Nigerian experts in the Diaspora.
“Sickle cell anaemia is a disease of the black people and we do know that if we do not pay attention to that the outside world will not do it for us.
“So, we have formed a network of experts in Nigeria and Nigerians in the Diaspora who are working in this area.
“We have done a work plan and we are collaborating and working together to ensure that we make progress in getting to a point we proffer solution this genetic disorder disease.
On science, technology and innovation, she said that the sector was a capital intensive one which required the involvement of the organised private sector to make a head way.
“Research and development activities are capital intensive and the government alone cannot achieve the desired result, so all hands must be on deck.
“We have reached out to them, they have assisted in the organisation of workshops but that is not enough.
“We need more of their support because our private sector rose up to the challenge during the Ebola outbreak, especially the Dangote group.
“We need more of that. We are currently speaking with the Danjuma Foundation to see if they can assist us and the discussion looks promising,’’ she said.
According to her, funding science and technology is not cheap as it requires serious and consistent commitment of funds because unlike other areas things cannot be managed in science and technology research.
“The private sector is profit oriented and will be committed to making their money work for them, so their participation in the sector will propel the development of the sector,’’ she said.
Ugbado commended the Federal Government for assisting the agency with funds, adding that the organisation had not had it so good, “which means we are making progress but a lot still needs to be done’’.
“We have a lot of programmes in place to drive toward ensuring that Nigerians benefit from bio technology and these are in the areas of agric, medical, environment and genomics. These sectors are critical to development of biotechnology in Nigeria,’’ she said.
The chief executive therefore appealed to the organised private sector to invest in these areas.
She noted that doing so would serve dual purposes of making profit and and helping to bring succour to many African families that had been ravaged by this disorder.