The coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Audu Mohammed, says the Federal Government will empower local manufacturers to produce malaria drugs.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria that the NMEP had applied for fund from the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank to support manufacturers and buy malaria life-saving commodities
He said: "The World Bank has promised to give us about $200 million; the Islamic Development Bank, $100 million and African Development Bank, $64 million.
"We want to use part of the innovation fund to empower local manufacturers to produce malaria drugs.
"Most of the malaria drugs are imported because our local manufacturers have challenges; they need to have WHO global manufacturing practice, which only 46 manufacturers have in the country.
"They also need to be pre-qualified by WHO.
"However, we are now working with WHO to empower many of our manufacturers to have that prequalification; by so doing, we will also patronise them to buy these commodities as local content.
"This will enable us to employ more youths in the manufacturing industry and we will also be exporting drugs to other countries when our capacity improves," he said.
Mohammed called on corporate bodies to support the effort of the government to eliminate malaria, saying "you do not wait for donors before you address your problems.
"We want to call on National Assembly, states and philanthropists to increase funding for malaria because the more you have domestic funding, the more you can address your problem." (NAN)