The Senate has given the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire an ultimatum to put together a policy to compel all government hospitals to procure locally manufactured syringes.
The Senate Committee on Health gave the Minister a six-week ultimatum to carry out the directive.
The instruction came during an interactive meeting with local manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, the Ministers of Health and Trade and Investment as well as the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, expressed displeasure with NAFDAC for licensing companies in India and China to import syringes into the country while ignoring Nigerian producers.
“You can’t keep licensing agents outside Nigeria to import syringes, while local firms are dying,” Oloriegbe lamented.
Despite implementing the Backward Integration Policy (BIP) for the production of syringes locally, nothing has been done since it was validated five years ago. As resulting the Senate committee has launched an investigation.
It would be recalled that the Senate had earlier summoned the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and the Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye to appear before it over failure to implement the BIP.
According to members of the committee, it is worrisome that despite the capacity of local manufacturers to meet the market demands, an estimated 1 billion units of syringes and needles are imported into the country per annum.