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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Nigerian government reaffirms commitment to promote local manufacturing

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The Minister of State for Health, Tunji Alausa, has called for a total ban on the importation of medical syringes into the country to encourage local production.

Mr Alausa, who visited the Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited Syringe factory in Ogun State, alongside other government officials and stakeholders, reaffirmed the determination of the government to support the local manufacturing sector.

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He noted that the restructuring of syringe and needle production in Nigeria aims to guarantee the availability of high-quality products manufactured by Nigerians to generate lucrative employment opportunities for Nigerians.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had in January cautioned customs agents against the importation of syringes from foreign countries to support locally-made syringes.

Other personalities who visited Afrimedical include Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite; Minister of State for Youth, Ayodele Olawande; Director-General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye; United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, and the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Aisha Rimi.

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Role of NAFDAC

Speaking further, Mr Alausa implored NAFDAC to ensure that unbridled importation of Syringe does not hamper the development of the local industry through unhealthy competition.

“Don’t give them any more authorisation to import. We need to protect the local industry through the backwards integration model aimed at enhancing the local capacity,’’ he said.

In her remarks, Mrs Adeyeye reiterated the need for a holistic approach by all the relevant agencies of government to solve the problem of substandard falsified medical devices coming into the country through the ports.

According to her, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has also been directed to patronize the local manufacturers of syringes to provide employment opportunities to Nigerians through the expansion of operations of the Nigeria manufacturing companies.

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She added that the NPHCDA was given the last import order in December 2023 with the instruction that they should begin to source from the local manufacturers after that.

She further explained that NAFDAC had suspended syringe imports to promote locally-made syringes, which applies to previously imported syringes by NAFDAC’s international partners.

NAFDAC boss, Mrs Adeyeye, and Mrs Mohammed at the factory

Other interventions

Mrs Adeyeye further disclosed that some medical devices still come into the country with the aid of compromised officials at the ports, adding that the government had already put high tariffs on the importation of syringes to discourage importation.

She, however, admitted that the locally manufactured syringes may be a little costlier but, however, added that once the local industry starts to produce in good volume, the price will reduce.

The NAFDAC boss urged the government to reduce the import tariff on critical raw materials and equipment used for local production, adding that they should be given zero tariffs for a limited-time moratorium.

In his comments, the chairman of Mikano International, the parent company of Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited, Mofid Karameh, said his company is poised to revolutionize the landscape with its aim to restore Nigeria as the premier hub in Africa.

He said the company boasts of an internationally accredited factory with an annual production capacity of 1.8 billion syringes, employing cutting-edge E-beam sterilization technology.

The Managing Director of Afrimedical, Akin Oyediran, emphasized the company’s plans to manufacture high-quality syringes not only for Nigeria but also for some neighboring countries.

Mr Oyediran added that the company uses 30 percent less plastic with high-quality medical-grade materials in its production.

He expressed gratitude to the government for the support, noting that the initiative to prohibit syringe importation will diminish the prevalence of substandard products in the Nigerian market and establish a conducive environment for local manufacturers in the pharmaceutical sector to flourish.

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