Senate Probes Health Minister, Others Over Importation Of 1 Billion Syringes, Needles
The Nigeria Senate is waiting to have the Ministers of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Trade and Industry, Chief Niyi Adebayo to explain the importation of about one billion syringes and needles from China and India against policy guidelines.
Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye is also expected to join the duo.
The decision was taken by the Senate Committee on Health after a two-day public hearing that revealed how the local industries that manufacture syringes and needles were not patronised.
The public hearing which ended on Tuesday looked at: “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 Nigeria.”
Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe noted the Minister of Trade and Industry’s deliberate refusal to implement the “Backward Integration Policy”, on local production of syringes in the last five years.
According to the Chairman, it was against the State policy that NAFDAC licensed companies in India and China to import syringes and needles into Nigeria.
He lamented that the licensing of foreign companies have killed local manufacturers of syringes and needles.
Oloriegbe revealed that local manufacturers have capacity to meet the over one billion units of syringe and needles per annum needed in Nigeria, saying the development had denied the country of huge foreign exchange.
“We asked the Ministers to appear before the Committee on April 15, to explain, since they are in the mainstream of Backward Integration Policy implementation.
“NAFDAC too would have to produce a list of companies it has licensed in the last fifteen years”, Oloriegbe said.
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