The Federal Government is mobilising the National Agency For Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), to speed up certification for essential items needed for COVID-19.
Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, disclosed this in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Julius Toba-Jegede, in Abuja on Monday.
Adebayo said that the emergency effort by his ministry would not affect the quality of the products, currently in high demand.He said that in collaboration with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the two organisations would also help identify and augment the list of essential goods and services.
He listed the items to include: hand sanitisers, face masks, needles, goggles, gloves, Sodium Hypo Chloride and Digital Thermometers.
He added that the ministry is also engaging some indigenous car manufacturers on the production of ‘Made in Nigeria’ ventilators.
“As we brace ourselves up to respond effectively and thoroughly to this crisis, we have been engaging with the Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, 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 standard of essential items- without sacrificing the quality of these items.
He said the ministry was engaging indigenous car manufacturers to prepare their operations to begin the manufacture of ‘Made in Nigeria’ ventilators, adding that it was a critical medical equipment in the fight against COVID-19.
Adebayo said 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”He further urged Nigerians to remain calm and desist from panic buying, assuring that the pandemic would soon end.