Are they actually aware of your products?
Yes, to an extent they are, because we’ve written several letters introducing some of the things we produce.
And they never followed on that?
Just to be clear, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with that Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), took a step to make sure that we are patronised. And this is not just for garment or medical supply manufacturers, this is also for the textile companies. We have over 25 functional textile companies and over 35 fully equipped garment factories in the country. If each and everyone of us could produce at least 4,000 masks and more, a day, I personally would be able to produce 120,000 masks a month. Imagine the other 35 factories that can save lives of Nigerians and healthcare workers on the line.
We are seeing improvisations in other parts of the world such as 3D printing in the United States, and inventive people such as yourself who for instance turning masks into ventilator masks. And these are being downloaded by hospitals around the world, becoming sort of medical lifeline. It hasn’t reached that level of emergency in Nigeria.but do you think there might be demand for what you are doing outside Nigeria-even if the problem would be how you would get it to them?
I think there is a huge demand around the world right now .as we know, this is a pandemic and based on the projections its not going away anytime soon. As long as these measures are not put in place, Nigeria might be stuck in it for months to come. I call on the Nigerian government to look into this matter. Nigeria has people in Nigeria with the technical know-how on how to produce personal medical protective equipments.
We have reached out to them, we just want them to listen. Its imperative to note that our economy has long been dependent on importation and empowering other economies. This undermines what the Buhari government is trying to do.
With companies making artificial limbs using 3D printing, is that something companies like yours could get together, given that you have some know-how of medical equipment. Soon enough they are going to need ventilators?
We’ve already started working on that. We have a technical team the Association has set up and we’ve been deliberating , researching and we have even reached the stage of procuring those machines. But of course, the government would need to support us on this,because they are expensive machines to procure. We are laying the ground work.