Investment in the syringe industry may soon boost the nation’s economy by about 50 per cent, if the Federal Government implements the medical devices industry policy meant to enhance the sector.
The syringe industry’s potential and its capacity to grow the country’s economy and make it the giant of Africa is, however, not in doubt going by the acceptance of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing (JSM) Company Limited in the international market.
Chairman of Syringe and Needle Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (SNMAN) and Managing Director, JSM Company Limited, Zubeyir Gulabi, told journalists after a tour to JSM in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State that Nigeria has eight syringe factories, which he described as a huge and sustainable investment.
He said one factory was worth $25 million, while the eight factories are worth over $200 million, stressing that the eight factories could provide direct employment to no fewer than 2,000 people with a multiplier effect on 2,000 families.
“This sector is very strategic and very good for sustainable development. It can ensure national security, create thousands of jobs and tackle youth restiveness, among others,” he said.
Gulabi explained that there are two syringe factories each in Calabar and Ilorin and one each in Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Port Harcourt and Kano, insisting that syringe manufacturing was strategic for national investment and security.
He disclosed that among the factories, the JSM in Akwa Ibom, which was inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo in September 2017, was the newest, but great investment, adding: “In age, we are young but we are the umbrella and father of medical devices in Nigeria.”
He said, the JSM product was gaining ground in the international market due to its quality, noting that the Akwa Ibom syringe has reached Sierra-Leone, Cotonou, Benin Republic and China, among others.
“We took the sample last year to the European Medical Trade Fair, one German company wanted to partner with us because of the quality, they could not believe that this is a product made in Nigeria. The quality is good,” he added.
The Guardian gathered that the Akwa Ibom Syringe Factory produces 700,000 syringes daily and over 350 million syringes yearly, which amounts to about 75 per cent production.
This means that the factory was producing far above Nigeria’s consumption, which is about 25 per cent of the product and over 70 members of staff from Akwa Ibom.
“Before Jubilee started, almost 95 per cent of the products were coming from China because other factories started early, but some closed down, while some are in comatose state,” he stated.
Speaking, the Quality Control Manager of JSN, Mary Mendie, noted that quality checks were done with everything that has to do with syringe manufacturing, from molding to packaging to ensure strict adherence to quality.
The Production Manager, Victor George, disclosed that 12 Nigerians who were sent to Turkey for training on quality control production has reduced the use of foreign experts in the factory, noting that they were already delivering good jobs.