Members of the Board of MTN Foundation paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) on Friday, June 24, 2022. This is in furtherance of its commitment to partnering with relevant institutions in fostering health research in Nigeria.
Delegation from the MTN Foundation included Director, MTN Foundation, Mrs Aishatu Sadauki; Director, MTN Foundation, Hon. Reginald Okeya; Director, MTN Foundation, Mr Dennis Okoro; and Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya. They were received by the Director-General, NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako and Director of Administration, NIMR, Abdullahi Yunusazazzau.
Key areas of discussion include progress report on the synthesised Oligonucleotides, sustainability plans, applications in vaccine and drug development, and health development initiatives that seek to position Nigeria as the centre of health innovation in the continent.
The Director, MTN Foundation, Mr Dennis Okoro reiterated MTN’s commitment to supporting public developmental initiatives. He said, “At the core of what we do is collaborating with public and private sector partners to provide solutions that alleviate some of the pressing issues facing our society. We embarked on this project with the goal of improving the quality of life of Nigerians.
We are happy to have collaborated with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in establishing the Oligo Synthesis laboratory. This partnership will go a long way in the area of medical development in Nigeria as well as make provision for supportive infrastructure and environments for healthcare research and training.”
In his response, the Director-General, NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako said, “Our gathering is indicative of what can be achieved through collaborative efforts. The Oligo-Synthesis machine provided by the MTN Foundation is already making science easy for scientists, as it reduces the time spent on research.
And now that we have perfected the production of primers, in the next few weeks, we will open our market to the world. We applaud MTN for highlighting the expertise of Nigerian researchers in medical diagnostics and creation of experimental vaccines.’’
In August 2021, MTN Nigeria through its foundation donated Oligo-synthesizer equipment to the NIMR to aid the local development of primers for indigenous production of test kits for COVID-19 and other diseases.