Sanwo-Olu Commissions Nigeria’s First-Ever Indigenous Graded Medical Facemask Factory

Nigeria’s pioneering indigenous medically graded facemask manufacturing company has been opened in the State of Lagos. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday, 30th July 2020, commissioned the O-Care Medical Face Mask Factory in the industrial territory of Odofin Park Estate, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area. A seemingly delighted Sanwo-Olu said that the opening of the factory is timely, observing that the motivation for the establishment of the factory must have been the sheer shortage in medically treated personal protective equipment PPE, experienced in all sectors in Nigeria especially in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

The O-Care Medical Face Mask factory is a subsidiary of Transgreen Nigeria Limited. Transgreen are an indigenous manufacturer of medical equipment like respirators, ventilators, hand gloves, and other PPE.

O-Care’s facemask is the first certified medical face mask produced in Nigeria, with World Health Organisation (WHO) standards and requirements.

The O-Care face mask is said to be the first certified medical face mask locally produced in Nigeria in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

Mr Cyprian Orakpo, the Managing Director of Transgreen Nigeria Limited, said the idea of setting up the company was born out of the embarrassing situation the nation found itself with the absence of local manufacturers of medical face masks in the country. Orakpo said medical PPEs had become objects of national security, especially in the period when there is no curative vaccine to stop the spread of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

He explained that scarcity of the products could spell doom for the nation if there’s no local manufacturer: “In this time when the use of medical face mask is highly recommended, we have risen to the occasion to fill the void in medically certified face mask production to contribute our quota in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and to promote health security in the country.”

Lagos State governor, Sanwo-Olu, said: “I am personally excited to attend this event, because Lagos is recording another first for a good cause. The establishment of the first indigenous factory producing certified medical face masks represents the can-do spirit of Nigerians. As a Government that supports fresh and progressive ideas, we will continue to celebrate and encourage good innovation.

“Mr. Orakpor deserves commendation because he has not let the pandemic affect his investment drive in bringing about new business and products to fit our own environment. This is part of the narratives we are pushing as government. We can be the enabler for investors to set up businesses. 

“If wearing of face masks must be accepted as a new normal, we must be able to strategically domesticate solutions that can provide ready market for our people. The opening of the factory is a confirmation of what we stand for as a Government. We must be the catalyst to nurture ideas and support business.”

He disclosed that Lagos State Government had started to conceive modalities for the establishment of Economic Zone for healthcare delivery, to attract more investments to the sector. 

He said the Government was thinking towards long-term loan facility for operators in the health sector to achieve local production of scarce medical equipment and materials.

He applauded the factory owner’s audacity and resilience in investing his capital for the production of medical face mask: the most sought after product in this pandemic.

The governor, as a goodwill gesture to the manufacturer, procured 250,000 pieces of the O-Care facemask from the first batch of production, to be distributed to medical and emergency workers who are on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.

The O-Care face mask is developed with three layers that offer substantial protection against dust, airborne viruses and bacteria. Its nose clip provides comfort for breathing and gives low respiratory resistance. 

An official of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Kola Jinadu, who represented the agency’s Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the company must be commended for the timely initiative.

While appreciating the Governor for his support, the owner of the factory donated additional 30,000 medical face masks to the State Government. Sanwo-Olu ordered that the face masks be donated to Secondary School students who will be taking their exit examinations from next week.