By Doris Obinna and Henry Uche

Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has called on President Bola Tinubu to render null and void the ban of imported needles, syringes and other medical consumables into Nigeria by the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Hon Tunji Alausa.

ACPN in a letter signed by its National Chairman, Adewale Oladigbolu, and National Secretary, Omokhafe Ashore, described Alausa’s circular as not only unlawful but vengeful.

The statement reads in part: “The circular, HMSH&SW/CMDs/MDs/FTHs/ Circular/S&N/03 dated March 28, 2024, titled called for the “Use of locally manufactured needles and syringes,” was signed by the Hon Minister in charge of the Federal Ministry of Social, Tunji Alausa

The association disclosed that having critically appraised the circular which appears a misnomer in many aspects and ramifications, but the lamentations of the minister to wit “Out of the nine local pharmaceutical companies that produced needles and syringes eight years ago, six have folded up due to dumping of largely substandard goods into our market.”

The Pharmacists maintained that the unprecedented adventure and needless gamble of the minister of State would bring about a monopoly and stock-outs in the supply value chain of syringes because it is a little too hasty and brash.

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According to them, the aforementioned circular does not appear to align with the convention and protocol of the civil service in Nigeria. “For a minister to sign a circular instead of a designated civil servant amounts to a climax of the absurd; the desperation and a seeming ulterior motive by the Minister of State to get involved procedurally in what should have been the exclusive preserve of bureaucrats like the Permanent Secretary (PS) or other technocrats like the relevant directors has led to avoidable errors.

“Few weeks, some notable leaders in healthcare and representatives of some of the various healthcare professional bodies cautioned the Minister on the need to exercise caution before banning the importation of medical consumables and devices as well as drugs in Nigeria.

“We need to raise salient points about the dangers ahead and the national sabotage Alausa is taking Nigeria through. Why is it possible to bring substandard products into Nigeria with the array of regulators at the designated ports of entry?

“What philosophy encourages the dumping of products including drugs and other health commodities more than the Open Drug Market (ODM) phenomenon which we have been trying to deal with decisively in contrast to the Hon. Minister of State who has through his unlawful circular now jeopardized efforts to lease the ignominious status quo of using ODMs as the medium for distributing regulated products in Nigeria.

“The ACPN is inspired to believe that for real satanic energy rules the world through the law of dialectical materialism because of the horrific output of the Hon. Minister of State in this discourse. This is based on the tripartite approach of this thesis. The interpretation of historical processes and political development motivates this discourse,” they affirmed.