The Senate Committee on Health, on Monday, summoned Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration, Mojisola Adeyeye, and Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, over the manufacturing, importation, and policy guideline for syringes in Nigeria.
Ibrahim Oloriegbe, chairman of the committee, issued the summon in Abuja at a 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’.
The committee frowned at the failure of ministry of trade and investment to implement the Backward Integration Policy on local production of syringes five years after it was validated.
It also slammed the NAFDAC for licensing companies in India and China to import syringes into the country.
Oloriegbe noted that despite the capacity of local firms to meet the market demands, an estimated one billion units per annum of syringe and needles are being imported into the country, causing the nation to lose huge foreign exchange.
The committee asked the NAFDAC to furnish it with the list of companies importing syringes into Nigeria in the last 15 years, the quantity imported, evidence of checks on licensed foreign firms and licensing fees.
It also directed the Ehanire to explain reasons public-owned hospitals are not using locally-manufactured syringes.
President of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MDMAN) Akin Oyediran, said all the seven licensed local manufacturers have the potential to produce 2.4 billion units of syringes per annum if provided with favourable business environment.