Reduce importation of medical equipment, Kalu tells Chinese businessman

…says FG focusing on policies to increase indigenous support system for health structures

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 in the provisions from other countries

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has urged the Chinese business men and other industrialists operating in Nigeria’s health sector to reduce the importation of medical equipment and consider establishing assembly plants for production.

Kalu made the call when he received in audience a delegation from the Royal Meditech Equipments (Nig) Company Limited led by its Director, Gari Li over the weekend in Abuja.

He said that the federal government is currently pursuing a health security programme through industrialization.

Kalu added that the present economic weather in Nigeria does not support much of importation of goods and services because of the challenges the Naira is facing.

He therefore challenged the company to develop the intention of establishing a facility in Nigeria that will produce Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ventilators, feeding pump and other essential machines, emphasizing the idea will also create jobs of the unemployed people.

He said: “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 in 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’m happy when I had that you have even been here from 2010. So, when the COVID era happened and the challenges we faced, you saw it firsthand.

“The encouragement of this government is to the fact that organizations like yours will begin to find reasons to build presence beyond administrative small business units locally into assembling facilities that will give us more sense of health security. Having gone through some of the things that you provide,
I’m sure that even if we don’t get all produced in this country, leveraging your knowledge in these ways, that you could pick few of them to be assembled here in Nigeria, to be manufactured here in Nigeria.

“As you know in the current time, the economic timetable of our country at the moment, 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 pump and some little, little things that can be done:
Construction, mixing oxygen concentrate, infusion pump. I know we may not get all in one day here, but let’s take steps to begin to put things here with the support of government. Now, we are creating fund. The federal government just approved huge amount of fund to support manufacturing in the health sector.

“And through strategic partnership between the indigenous companies and foreign partners, we can build manufacturing outfits here, which the government is currently supporting. So, since you have the technology, bring it down to Africa, bring it here. The population is here and it’s increasing. The beauty of you doing it here is that it will create job.

“It is more accessible and by doing it here, which is the biggest market in Africa, you can leverage the african trade agreement that is opening up the corridors in the continent for us to have entra trade among ourselves. I would like you to do that. I also would like you to consider that in your energy company or interest.

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. So you will leverage a comparative advantage because of proximity to raw material, which is one of the elements that reduces cost in production in the factors of production. Like I said, midterm, long term goal, the short term goal is to see what can we do to be safe, safe health wise. The trading aspect of it, I’m sure, is what you are projecting. Yes, we can work with you a short term basis, but it’s not sustainable over a long time. We will appreciate your presence in the market. Think about it when you go”, he said.

Earlier in his presentation, the Director of the Royal Meditech Equipments (Nig) Company Limited, Gari Li told the deputy speaker that their company has international presence as well as offices in China; South Beach, Miami, US in Mexico City, Mexico and Nairobi, Kenya.

He explained that they have been in Nigeria since 2010 and have offices in Lagos, Kano and Abuja with 14 Chinese and 98 Nigerian as members of staff in the three offices.

“We are into hospital building, equipping and renovation. We do not only sell, we train doctors. We give 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 centers and specialists hospitals. We are working with many of the state hospitals. We are working with plenty 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.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply