Minister seeks ban on importation of syringes

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The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, has called for a ban on the importation of medical syringes to encourage local production and grow the nation’s economy.

Alausa stated this during his visit to the Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited Syringe factory in Ogun State, according to a statement on Sunday signed by the Resident Media Consultant, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Sayo Akintola.

Alausa, who visited the factory with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzo-Anite; the Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed; among others reaffirmed the determination of the Federal Government to provide the necessary support to the local manufacturing sector to enhance its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

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

The minister, however, implored NAFDAC to ensure that unbridled importation of syringes 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 backward integration model aimed at enhancing the local capacity,’’ he said.

On her part, NAFDAC DG reiterated the need for a holistic approach by relevant government agencies to solve the problem of substandard, falsified medical devices coming into the country through the ports.

She said the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has also been directed to patronise local manufacturers of syringes to provide employment opportunities to Nigerians through the expansion of operations of the Nigeria manufacturing companies.

She said the NPHCDA was given the last import order in December 2023.

”However, for the local manufacturers, we are doing hand-holding with our syringe companies. Hand-holding, meaning we are working with them by correcting whatever we find wrong or inappropriate in their operations,” she said.

On his part, the chairman of Mikano International, the parent company of Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited, Mr. Mofid Karameh said the company is poised to revolutionise the landscape to restore Nigeria as the premier hub in Africa.

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

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