President Bola Tinubu is reportedly planning to unveil an Executive Order seeking to stop manufacturing firms from further exiting the country due to an alleged hostile operating environment.
Thisday reports that the executive order, which is being prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, will incorporate practicable solutions, quick wins, and medium and long-term solutions to completely and permanently resolve the challenges confronting manufacturing in the country. The measures may also require a reduction or outright ban on the importation of syringes and needles into the country.
Speaking at the end of a meeting with medical syringe and needles manufacturers in Abuja, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Tunji Alausa, alongside the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, said there was an honest conversation with the stakeholders on the executive order. Alausa said an agreement was reached based on the directive of the president to reduce the cost of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies in the country.
The minister said;
“We just had a very good meeting with the needle and syringes manufacturers in Nigeria – the five companies that are still operating today. We explored and discussed many practicable solutions where we can begin to have some quick wins; some immediate solutions that we will be incorporating in the executive order, which the president has asked us to work on, as well as medium and long-term solutions on how we can get this problem completely and permanently resolved.
Everyone was happy at the end of the meeting and we believe we have addressed all the issues that will put this industry on the path of sustainability, where they can begin to create durable and well-paying jobs for our citizens – and where we would have needles and syringes that are of high quality, that would not be harming our citizens as they go to our hospitals or healthcare facilities to seeks care.”
Uzoka-Anite said the president remained determined to remove all bottlenecks impeding the industrialisation of the economy.
“The meeting today is one of those in which after deliberations, we have been able to remove the bottlenecks affecting the needles and syringe industry.”
She assured the health devices and instrument manufacturers that the outcome of their deliberation would be expedited through policy responses.
The minister said the challenges confronting the manufacturing space were not knotty. She said that what was required was little policy changes, hence, the need to dialogue with the operators to enable the government to deploy the right policy intervention.
“The mandate we have been given by the president is to fix every problem in Nigeria; every problem affecting manufacturers in every segment of the country. Last Wednesday, at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, we took the healthcare sector specifically to understand what their challenges are. And the mandate the president gave us was that we should go and fix it as quickly as possible. The president intends to ensure that, one, the prices of manufactured medicines drop, and people have greater access to these medicines, and that they are more affordable and of higher quality. I can assure you that everything that we discussed here will be taken and expedited and this is the only assurance I can give to you.”Uzoka-Anite said
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