Manufacturers of medicals urge action on backward integration policy
Manufacturers have urged the Federal Government to hasten implementation of the Backward Integration Policy (BIP) on local production of needles and syringes nationwide.
The Medical Device Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MEDMAN) said the move would deepen the market and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in addition to checking entry of substandard and harmful products into the country.
The president, Akin Oyediran, who made the appeal in Uyo shortly after arriving from Abuja where he participated in the Yahaya Oloriegbe-led Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary) public hearing on “The need to regulate the manufacturing, importation and use of syringes and needles to protect the lives and safety of Nigerians as well as the economy of the country”, regretted that the policy, passed over three years ago, was yet to be implemented.
Commending the upper legislative chamber for dutifulness, he described health as a key factor in the growth of any country, adding that the continued exposure of Nigerians to inferior syringes from the world over was detrimental to the development of the citizens and the country at large.
Oyediran said the industry had been working closely with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for action on document, noting that the delay on the part of government necessitated the intervention of the lawmakers.
On the capacity of his association to meet the daily needs of consumers, he observed: “As I speak with you, Nigerians’ demand for needles and syringes is between two and 2.5 billion yearly. We have at the moment seven manufacturers in this country that are producing about 1.95 billion per annum.”
The MEDMAN boss continued: “However, because of the importation of cheap syringes into the country, Nigerian manufacturers have not been able to meet the needs of the citizenry. But I can assure you that once this policy is implemented, we will scale up and even exceed expectations in a matter of months.
“The seven manufacturers have the capacity to produce quality syringe and needles of international standards to meet local demand. Quality is not questionable at all.”
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