By VICTORIA OJEME & RUTH ODINIYA
A stakeholder in the health sector has decried exorbitant fees charged by the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, NNRA, saying, “It is hampering importation of equipment for medical imaging services across the country,” even as the Federal government has resolved to issue zero import duty on some medical equipment.
Speaking in Abuja last week, Senator Ignatius Abana, Chairman, LifeBridge Diagnostics, said the charges were hindering private sector investment in the health sector because generally affect medical radiation equipment.
Abana who spoke at the official commissioning of the Centre, called for import duty concessions to providers as well as reduction in multiple taxations, insisting such “pose serious challenges and barriers for investors in the health sector.”
In a related development, the Federal government has directed that medical equipment installed in health facilities in Nigeria would be duty free in attempt to support the growth of private health sector.
Disclosing this at the opening of the Centre, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, who represented the President, said private sector involvement to provide world-class health facility was “paying off and has now become a part of the lexicon when discussing the health sector.”
The new facility has equipment for mammography, ECG and imaging-including a 64-slice CT scanner capable of full brain scan in five seconds and a full body scan in 10 seconds.