Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Federal government has said it may soon ban the importation of drugs that Nigeria can be produce even as the government also kicked against the importation of Insecticide Treated Mosquito nets from Tanzania.
While the Vice President Professor Yemi Osibajo dropped the hint about the plan to ban the importation of drugs Nigeria can produce the Minister of Health Dr Isaac Adewole said “We have no business importing nets from Tanzania, these nets must be produced in Nigeria”
They spoke on Tuesday at the opening of the 89th annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria PSN with the theme Pharmaceutical Industry Contribution to National development” holding at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference centre in Minna Niger state.
Professor Osibajo said the country could no longer continue to invest hard earned foreign exchange on the importation of drugs that the country could produce especially when the nation was in desperate drive to diversify its economy from oil.
Professor Osibajo who was represented by the Minister of Health Dr Isaac Adewole assured manufacturers in all sectors of the nations’ economy that Federal government would give them full support to ensure they produced up to their full capacities so that they would be in position to generate more funds for the country and also employ the teeming unemployed youths in the land.
The Vice President said as much as the government would want to give protection to drug manufacturers in the country it would vehemently oppose any firm that produced fake or substandard drugs adding that the administration was not unaware of the challenges confronting the industry but assured that these impediments would be removed to ensure competition of the variety products in the country.
Professor Osibanjo also used the occasion to reassure the private sector that government was making every effort to ensure stable and sustainable economic development by reducing dependence on oil.
The Minister of Health Dr Isaac Adewole who had earlier presented his address challenged manufacturers to go into the production of Insecticide Treated Mosquito nets which presently was being imported from Tanzania assuring that so long as the quality was good government would patronize the products.
Dr Isaac Adewole said the ministry would not receive any ”kick back” from such manufacturers as such they should inflate the cost of their goods.
“ We must eliminate substandard products and falsely labeled products from the health sector”.
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello in an address called for increased budgetary allocation to the health sector in the country in order to put the sector in position to confront the various health challenges facing Nigerians.
Represented by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, alhaji Ahmed Marafa Governor Bello said the state would employ additional 100 health personnel to boost the number on its pay roll.
The National President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria PSN, alhaji Ahmed Yakasai in his address disclosed that N50m worth of drugs and other medicaments were donated by the Society to Internally Displaced People in the North Eastern part of the country under the siege of Boko- haram last year.
Alhaji Yakassai also presented a document allowing the federal government to access another N50m worth of drugs for the IDP’s this year to the Minister of Health Dr Isaac Adewole. A communiqué is expected at the end of the conference.