Nigerian government has said it is in talks with indigenous automobile maker and two other firms that expressed interest in producing ventilators to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, confirmed the discussion to journalists on Monday.
He disclosed that following the expression of interest proposal sent in by Innoson Group seeking government’s commitment, the latter had expressed willingness to engage the car manufacturer in the area of manufacturing the much-needed ventilators.
The minister, who also noted that the government had also engaged the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in the areas of local production of foods and pharmaceutical products, needed to fight COVID-19 was confident of the partnership working efficiently.
He said, “The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the world to health and economic crises, and countries are shutting down their borders. We’ve thrown that challenge to our manufacturers and they are responding accordingly.”
Adebayo noted that the ministry had opened Emergency Operation Centre to help in sorting out manufacturers’ challenges of moving their food or pharmaceutical products from the point of production to where they are needed.
The President of MAN, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, said the association’s partnership with the government had helped in closing the gaps in the production of essential food and pharmaceutical products needed to check the spread of the pandemic.
“We are currently manufacturing 27m 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 on that,” he added.