Nytil stuck with 50m face masks, PPEs

A surgical mask made from Nyanza Textile Industries Ltd. PHOTO/FILE 

What you need to know:

  • Mid last year, President Museveni pegged the easing of the first Covid-19 lockdown on each Ugandan aged above six years to have a free face mask provided by government. 

Nyanza Textile Industries Ltd (Nytil) is stuck with a stock of more than 50 million face masks and company gowns that government asked them to manufacture in a bid to fight the spread of Covid-19, but some of orders have not been taken.

Mr Richard Mubiru, the director at Nytil, in an interview with this publication revealed how he had met the Vice President Jessica Alupo yesterday to remind government of the agreement it had with them to produce the face masks. 

“Last year, government through the Ministry of Health, signed an offtake agreement with Nyanza textiles limited to produce face masks and hazmat suits, however the business is not flowing as it should,” Mr Mubiru said in an interview yesterday.

He wondered why government had ordered for facemasks worth $6.5m (about Shs23b) that are still lying idle and yet the country has just come out of a second lockdown, with health workers recommending that everyone above six years should wear a face mask.

When contacted on why the Health ministry has not taken the stock the face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPEs) lying idle at Nytil, Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the spokesperson of the ministry, said: “We have various sources where we get PPEs and masks. I am not in position to comment until I get information on our sources of PPEs and face masks.”

Mid last year, President Museveni pegged the easing of the first Covid-19 lockdown on each Ugandan aged above six years to have a free face mask provided by government. 

The head of the State, pinpointed Nytil Company to be at the forefront of manufacturing the face masks although ten local companies expressed interest in producing the same at a later date.

The vice president during her visit to the textile industry, applauded the company for the improved quality of uniforms they are manufacturing for Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and the police.

She asked Nytil to empower tailors  and improve on the quality of garments they produce so that they can promote local production and consumption.

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