NIMC shuts centres in Lagos, Katsina, three others


MAN seeks FG’s support to boost local drug production

As part of the measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has ordered the immediate closure of all its enrollment centres in Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun, Katsina and Anambra states.

A statement from NIMC in Abuja yesterday explained that the move became necessary to prevent its staff and applicants from getting more vulnerable to the pandemic.

Consequently, all enrolment activities, card collection and related activities were suspended in the aforementioned states till further notice.

According to the Head, Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke, the closure is not intended to create panic, but to arrest the spread of the disease, which has become a global threat.

“We regret any inconvenience the closure might cause, as our paramount concern as a responsible and responsive commission is the safety of all,” Adegoke stated.

Meanwhile, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Federal Government to support the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in the country to boost production, considering that countries like India placed restriction on export of drugs to other countries.

President of MAN, Mansur Ahmed, made the call yesterday in Port Harcourt, River State, while fielding questions from journalists after the association’s 303rd national council meeting.

Ahmed disclosed that Nigeria might experience some challenges in the health sector, especially with the restriction on export of goods from other countries, and stressed the need to ensure availability of essential drugs to minimise the effect of the deadly disease in the country.

He said, “Indians have put restriction on export of its goods because it is constrained by the COVID-19 virus. This means that Nigerians must expect huge constraint in the health sector, and we need to do something to encourage our local pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.

“Recall that in the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the country almost ran out of sanitisers and these are very critical in safety of the coronavirus. But within few weeks to the shortage, the local producers were able to produce sanitisers and close up the shortages that was able to significantly reduce the price to less than N3,000 and expanded availability.”

The MAN boss also expressed concern with the turbulence in the price of crude oil and admonished government to remain committed to the diversification of the economy. He also urged government to put in place remedial measures to offset whatever shocks associated with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).

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