The Bayelsa State Government and representatives of a group of Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries in Cuba (BioCubaFarma) have signed a multi-million-dollar Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish Vaccines and pharmaceutical production with two production lines in Bayelsa state.
A major part of the Trade and Cultural Mission led by the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, to the United States of America (USA) and Cuba, the MoU expects BIOCUBAFARMA to supply pharmaceutical and biotechnological products, as well as transfer technology for the manufacturing and commercialization of the said products, to Bayelsa State.
The technology transfer to Bayelsa State would cover “the establishment of manufacturing facilities from the stage of formulation, filling, to packaging of pharmaceutical products,” the MoU stressed.
These are contained in a statement released by the Embassy of Nigeria, Havana, Cuba, which said that Governor Diri, who led the State Government business delegation to Cuba between July 4 and 6, 2022, expressed strong political will to accomplish the project in record time.
Senator Diri, whose delegation was received on arrival by the office of the Governor of La Habana, led by H.E Mrs. Yanet Hernandez Parez, the Deputy Governor, and H.E. Mrs. Deborah Rivas, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, thanked the Embassy of Nigeria in Havana for facilitating the process that led to the signing of the MoU which is aimed at establishing a long-term alliance in the biopharmaceutical sector between BioCubaFarma and oil and gas rich Bayelsa State.
Ambassador Benaoyagha Okoyen, the Nigerian Ambassador to Cuba, who hosted the Bayelsa State Governor and his team, explained, while briefing the press, that the collaboration is part of implementation of the outcome of the Expression of Interest document signed between BioCubaFarma and the Embassy of Nigeria in Cuba at the BIOHABANA International Conference held in April 2022.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Pabara Newton Igwele signed the MOU on behalf of the State Government while the first Vice President of BIOCUBAFARMA, Dr. Mayda Mauri Perez, signed on behalf of the company.
Other members of the Governor’s entourage were Hon. Fredrick Agbedi, the Member representing the Ekeremor-Sagbama Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mrs. Patience Oliemen Erica Abah, Prof Ebitimitula Nicholas Etebu, the Vice Chancellor, Bayelsa Medical University and Major Lancelot Anyanya, the Adviser to the Governor on Strategy and Security Policy.
The delegation had several engagements in Cuba, including the bilateral medical exchange programme with the Ministry of Public Health, participation in a business Lunch with the Deputy Minister of Trade and Foreign Investment H.E. Mrs. Deborah Rivas with various companies and institutions organized by the Governor of the Matanzas province, Mario Felipe Sabines Lorenzo, including Grupo Azucarero AZCUBA on the production of sugar and all products in the sugarcane value chain, including the industrial and other application of by-products in Bayelsa state.
It also received presentations from the Cuban Scientific and Technological Park in Matanzas province and the University of Matanzas.
Ambassador Okoyen, in his remarks, revealed that the Embassy of Nigeria in Cuba will continue to deepen and expand existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Cuba.
Governor Diri had been in New York and New Jersey, USA with his delegation for most of last week, marketing the potentials of Bayelsa State to international investors and Nigerians in Diaspora.
He also attended the 2022 Ijaw Diaspora Council Convention and is expected to hold a meeting with the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Thursday, July 7, 2022 before returning to Nigeria.