The Abia State Government said it has started the production of certified quality standard protective medical kits and masks to cater for the needs of Nigerians and bridge the scarcity of imported ones.
Sam Hart, the Director-General, Abia State Marketing and Quality Management Agency, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Aba on Saturday.
Hart said Governor Okezie Ikpeazu initiated the project to ensure Abia State people were not exploited during this period, but protected from the ravaging COVID-19 infections.
He said: “The governor does not want Abia people to be exploited and that was part of the reason he gave this challenge to Aba tailors to start producing these kits.
“Apart from meeting national demand, he is also interested in meeting local demand so that the people of Abia can have these masks and kits available.
“That is why he provided support for the tailors, held a meeting with them, and released initial funds for them to start production even before orders started coming.
“That is the foresight that moved us to where we are today that everybody is now coming to pick them up; we have more than enough and they are available everywhere.”
The DG said buyers could get the products at pharmacies, chemist shops, supermarkets and other places.
He said his agency was handling the distribution of the products on wholesale basis by buying up available products from the producers to ensure they get money to continue production.
Hart said the state sourced the raw materials used locally and abroad, stressing that the state has the capacity to meet any quantity demanded across Nigeria.
He said: “On the specifications required, we have also gotten medical practitioners to look at what we do.
“They have looked at it, told us what to do, which we also implemented, and they have certified it.
“Orders are coming from Kaduna, Lagos and Enugu and other states and for our production capacity, it depends on the orders we get.
“As we get more orders, we upscale production through involvement of more hands.”