FG, Senate partner to end importation of syringes, needles - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

FG, Senate partner to end importation of syringes, needles

 The Senate has urged the Federal Government to come forward with a policy that will ensure that all government-funded hospitals in the country procure their syringes and needles from local manufacturers.

Towards this end, the Senate has directed that the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire should, within six weeks, develop a policy and make it available to the Upper Chamber through Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, APC, Kwara Central-led Senate Committee on Health.

This resolution was reached in Abuja at an interactive meeting with critical stakeholders.

The Senate Committee on Health, Industry, Trade, and Investment are jointly probing a petition by the Medical Device Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, producers of syringes and needles that government at all tiers were not patronising them but embracing foreign products.

Oloriegbe tasked both the Minister of Health and his counterpart in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, to use their offices to encourage the syringes and needles manufacturing firms as well as secure the Federal Executive Council approval for his planned “Financial Incentive” policy aimed at encouraging local manufacturing of syringes and needles in Nigeria

“We want you (Health Minister), to come up with a policy that will make it mandatory for all federal health institutions, the FMCs and teaching hospitals to use locally manufactured syringes and needles.”

The Senate also called for a policy that will make it mandatory for government hospitals to use only locally made syringes and needles to administer vaccines bought by the Federal Government; excluding vaccines donated by foreign partners.

It will be in our recommendations as a committee that all federally owned hospitals, without exception must procure and use only locally manufactured syringes and needles from companies that are registered and approved by NAFDAC to produce them in Nigeria.

In a related development, the Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire, assured the Senate that his ministry would ensure that all Federal Government-owned health institutions in the country procure and use only syringes and needles manufactured in Nigeria.

Ehanire who noted that the ministry would ensure that the Federal Executive Council approve the policy in coming weeks, said it would also be an offence for any federal health institution in the country to administer vaccines procured by the Federal Government, with foreign syringes and needles when the policy is in place.

“We are in support of the move to encourage local manufacturing of syringes and needles because it is the best way to create jobs and take Nigerians out of poverty,” he stated.

President, Medical Devices Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Syringe, Akin Oyediran welcomed the position of the Senate.

“We have the capacity to produce the required syringes and needles that we need in the country.

“One of the manufacturers in Nigeria, the Jubilee Syringe which I am the MD is the largest manufacturers of Syringes in Africa. We have just been approached by other countries in Africa to please export our syringes to them. There is no doubt about having the capacity.

“We welcome the move by the Senate asking the minister of health to come up with a policy that would give exclusive rights to the local manufacturers of syringes to produce the products for all federally funded health institutions in Nigeria.

“The local manufacturers are actually the highest supplies of syringes and needles for hospitals. There is no point why government hospitals should use imported syringes when we have the locally manufactured ones.”

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