Nigeria Government has confirmed that it is in discussion with local automakers like Innoson and two other automotive firms who had expressed desire to manufacture the much-needed ventilators to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Niyi Adebayo, minister of industry, trade and investment, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Monday, said Innoson had specifically sent in a proposal seeking government’s support to manufacture ventilator and expressed Federal Government’s willingness to effect the partnership.
Adebayo also noted that the Federal Government, in partnership with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, is ramping up local manufacturing of food and pharmaceuticals needed to curb coronavirus, saying the manufacturers are efficiently closing the gap of what is required.
“As you know, world over the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the world to health and economic crisis and countries are shutting down their borders. We’ve thrown that challenge to our manufacturers and they are responding accordingly,” Adebayo said.
He also informed that a secretariat known as “Emergency Operation Centre” has been opened at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to sort out concerns of any manufacturer who encounters challenges in the event of conveying his food or pharmaceutical products from one point in the country to the other.
He further applauded the inspector general of police and the comptroller general of Customs who have partnered the ministry in ensuring hitch-free movement of food and pharmaceuticals across the country by the manufacturers.
In his remarks, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said the partnership with the Federal Government has been effective in closing gaps in key essential food and pharmaceutical products needed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We can currently manufacture 27 million masks in a month to curb the spread of the pandemic. We are also working with the government to close the gap of hand sanitiser manufacturing as we are engaging alcohol manufacturers in partnership with the government on that,” Sani-Gwarzo said.
He said further that two of their members have submitted fresh proposal on the manufacturing of ventilators, which he said would be forwarded to the minister for further action.