BIP: Nigerian Senate kicks, directs Minister to activate local production, use of syringes

*Federal lawmakers issue six-week ultimatum for formulation of a policy to compel all government hospitals to procure locally manufactured syringes in Nigeria henceforth

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In order to consciously drive implementation of the Backward Integration Policy (BIP) of the Federal Government on local production of syringes, the Senate Committee on Health is investigating the failure of government agencies to activate the policy five years after it was validated.

ConsumerConnect reports the legislators directed Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health, Thursday, April 22, in Abuja, FCT, to put together a policy to compel all government hospitals to procure locally-manufactured syringes.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health

The Senate Committee on Health gave the Minister a six-week ultimatum to carry out the directive.

The Committee gave the directive 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).

According to members the Senate Committee, it is alarming 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 annually.

Recall the Senate earlier in April had summoned Health Minister Dr. Ehanire; Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Honorable Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, and Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC), to appear before it over failure to implement the BIP on local production of syringes five years after it was validated.

Meanwhile, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, at the investigative hearing criticised NAFDAC for licensing companies in India and China to import syringes into the country.

The lawmaker said: “You can’t keep licensing agents outside Nigeria to import syringes, while local firms are dying.”

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