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Importation Of Medical Equipment, Kalu Tells Chinese Investors



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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu has urged Chinese businessmen and other industrialists operating in Nigeria’s health sector to reduce the importation of medical equipment.

The lawmaker wants them to consider setting up assembly plants in Nigeria for production.

Kalu stated this in Abuja when he hosted a delegation from the Royal Meditech Equipments (Nig) Company Limited led by its Director, Gari Li on Saturday.

According to Kalu, who represents Bende Federal Constituency, Abia State, the economic situation in the country does not make importation of goods into the country given the challenges being faced by the naira.

He, therefore, challenged the company to consider establishing a facility in Nigeria that will produce Intensive Care Unit ventilators, feeding pumps, and other essential machines, noting that doing so would create jobs for the people.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, Levinus Nwabughiogu on Sunday, quoted Kalu as saying, “Our nation is currently pursuing health security through industrialization.

This idea happens to be an outcome of post-COVID analysis where the dependence of our country was hinged on the provisions from other countries.

“We noticed that basic things were not locally sourced. Most of them were sourced across the borders.

“And based on that, the current administration, to forestall such happening again, is focusing on the policy that will increase indigenous support system for our health structures.

“I was happy when I heard that you have even been here since 2010. So, when the COVID era happened and the challenges we faced, you saw it firsthand.”

He added that though importation could not be ruled out entirely, a few of the medical equipment, he added, can be produced locally.

“I’m sure that even if we don’t get all produced in this country, leveraging your knowledge in these ways, you could pick a few of them to be assembled here in Nigeria, to be manufactured here in Nigeria.

“As you know at the current time, the economic timetable of our country at the moment and the economic weather does not support so much of imports because of our currency. So, I would like you to put it in your long-term plan or midterm plan, the intention to have a facility in Nigeria where we can go to and pick up ICU ventilators, feeding pumps and some little and the little things that can be done.

“I know we may not get everything in one day here, but let’s take steps to begin to put things here with the support of the government. Now, we are creating a fund. The federal government just approved a huge amount of funds to support manufacturing in the health sector.

He stated that through strategic partnership between the indigenous companies and foreign partners, manufacturing outfits can be built in Nigeria.

Kalu also urged the company to take advantage of the huge deposit of lithium in Nigeria, which he said is of commercial quantity, to build companies for solar systems amongst others.

“We are huge in lithium as a solid mineral. And oftentimes, this is exported to China or another place. We can process it here and use it to build some components of the solar system, the batteries,” he said.

Earlier in his presentation, Gari Li noted,

“We are into hospital building, equipping and renovation. We do not only sell, we train doctors.

We give a sound warranty. We are working with more than 700 hospitals in Nigeria.

“We are working with nearly all the federal hospitals, teaching hospitals, federal medical centres and specialist hospitals.

“We are working with many of the state hospitals. Right now, we are working with many different ministries for solar. We are working with many different organizations in Nigeria. Government sectors and also private sectors.

“We want to join hands with Your Excellency, to improve, to build more modern hospitals to improve the health delivery in Nigeria for the good people of Nigeria. And also to bring more power to Nigeria through the clean energy solar products”, he said.

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