By Ossom Raphael
ABUJA – As the world battle to curb the spread of the coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19, the Federal Government says it is engaging car manufacturers in the country to roll out ‘Made in-Nigeria’ ventilators.
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, said that local production of the critical medical equipment would boost the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said this in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on steps taken by the government to curtail the negative impact of coronavirus pandemic on manufacturing and trade sectors of the economy.
“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 minister further said the minustry is currently mobilising the National Agency For Food And Drug Administration (NAFDAC) and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), to speed up certification procedures for essential items needed by Nigerians.
Adebayo assured that the emergency effort by the ministry would not affect the quality of the products, currently in high demands.
He said the 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,” Adebayo, said.
The Minister disclosed 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.”
The minister appealed to Nigerians to remain calm and desist from panic buying, even as he assured that the pandemic would soon end.