The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA) has been accused of hindering private sector growth by its exorbitant high charges.
Investors who made the complaint last Thursday at the commissioning of Lifebridge Diagnostics Centre in Abuja, said that the fees being charged by the agency is hampering the import of equipment for medical imaging services across the country and hindering private sector investment in the health sector.
While commissioning the centre, President Goodluck Jonathan, admitted that complaints about NNRA have earlier been brought to his notice.
President Jonathan who was represented by the Health Minister, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, said, “I have written to NNRA and we will be discussing with them how those involved in providing radiation services can have special consideration for importation of their equipment”
He said that the presidency was adamant in reducing medical tourism, noting that private sector involvement to provide world class heath care services was already paying off.
In his remarks, the chairman of LifeBridge Diagnostics Centre, Senator Ignatius Abana, maintained that because of the high charges, it is poor Nigerians who get to bear the brunt at the end of the day.
He said that NNRA charges are at par with what they charge oil companies that make their profits in billions of naira.
Senator Abana also called for import duty concessions to medical service providers as well as a reduction in multiple taxation, insisting that “they pose serious challenges and barriers to entry for investors in the health care sector”
LifeBridge opened with equipment for mammography, electrocardiogram and imaging, including. A 64- slice CT scanner capable of getting full brain scan in five seconds and a full body scan in 10 seconds.