FG To Ban Importation Of Syringes To Boost Local Production, Says NAFDAC Boss

Amina Mansur


The federal government has said it is planning to put a total ban on importation of syringes into the country in order to promote locally medical needles.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it had halted approvals for further syringe imports.

Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said that the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) was given the last import order in December 2023 with the instruction that they should begin to source from the local manufacturers thereafter.

In the same vein, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Tunji Alausa has said that a total ban on the importation of medical syringe will encourage local production and help to grow the nation’s economy.

Both Alausa and Adeyeye disclosed during the official visit to the multi-billion Naira ultra-modern Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited Syringe factory located within Karameh Industrial City, Arepo, Ogun State.

According to Adeyeye, the suspension applies even to syringes previously imported by NAFDAC’s international partners.

“We are working with them by correcting whatever we found wrong or inappropriate in their operations,” she said.

Adeyeye said the initiative had started yielding positive dividends as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently requested for names of the three syringe manufacturing companies in Nigeria to do business with.

According to the DG, the names of the syringe companies were supplied to WHO and they had been contacted for guidance toward pre-qualification and eventual access of the products for use.

Adeyeye however, advocated for a holistic approach to combating the incidence of importation of substandard falsified medical devices into the country.

She, nevertheless, expressed regret that the system in the ports negates that policy.

”That is the problem. It’s going to be a holistic government approach to tackle the problem. It’s not something that only NAFDAC, SON, or Customs can do. It must be all-embracing,” she added.

The NAFDAC boss however noted that the locally manufactured syringes may be a little costlier, but quickly added that once the local industry starts to have volume the price will come down.

She also urged the government to reduce the import tariff on critical raw materials and equipment used for local production, adding that they should be given zero tariffs for a limited time moratorium.

Adeyeye said that NAFDAC has the power to create a ceiling on importation, adding that the three companies in Nigeria can produce syringes that will satisfy the local demand and still export.

The Chairman of Mikano International, the parent company of Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited, Mr. Mofid Karameh, told the visiting top government officials that his company is poised to revolutionise the landscape with its aim to restore Nigeria as the premier hub in Africa.

He said the company boasts of an internationally accredited factory with an annual production capacity of 1.8 billion syringes, employing cutting-edge e-beam sterilisation technology.

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