By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government says it is engaging car manufacturers in the country to roll out ‘Made in-Nigeria’ ventilators.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, made this known in Abuja on Monday while briefing newsmen on steps taken by the government to curtail the negative impact of coronavirus pandemic on manufacturing, trade and other related sectors of the economy.
Adebayo said local production of the critical medical equipment would boost the fight against the virus.
His words: “We are also engaging our indigenous car manufacturers at this time to prepare themselves to tweak their operations to begin the manufacture of ‘Made in Nigeria’ ventilators – a critical medical equipment in the fight against the virus”.
He said the government has also put modalities in place at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to speed up certification of essential items without compromising on quality.
Adebayo said his Ministry would collaborate with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to identify and augment the list of essential goods and services to ensure massive production.
He listed the items to include: hand sanitizers, face masks, needles, goggles, gloves, Sodium Hypochlorite and Digital Thermometers.
“As we brace ourselves to respond effectively and thoroughly to this crisis, we have been engaging with the Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and NCDC to identify and augment the list of essential goods and services.
“We are working with SON and NAFDAC to ensure the acceleration of the issuance of certificates of standards of essential items- without sacrificing the quality of these items,” he said.
The Minister informed that the Ministry had also established an Emergency Operation Centre, to help monitor the real-time status of the transportation and delivery of essential goods to Nigerians.
He said the move would “cut down on the difficulties currently being faced by manufacturers, transporters and distributors of essential commodities across the country.”
While commending the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), transporters and other stakeholders for ensuring availability of relevant products, Adebayo urged Nigerians to remain calm and desist from panic buying, assuring that the pandemic would soon end.