Manufacturers canvass pharmaceutical village, single digit interest loans



*As Miraflash opens in Ogun
Manufacturers in the pharmaceutical sector have urged the Federal and state governments to give a special status to the industry by declaring pharmaceutical villages in their domains.

The manufacturers, under the aegis of National Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP), said that such measure would promote the critical sector and rapidly develop the economy.

Immediate past chairman of the association in Lagos, Dr. Lolu Ojo and his colleague, Moses Oluwalade, at the official commissioning of Miraflash Nigeria Limited factory at Magboro, Ogun State, argued that the manufacturing arm of the pharmaceutical sector was long due for such incentives, to upturn its fortunes from import-dependent to local manufacturing.

Ojo noted that local manufacturing is quite a difficult terrain, particularly given the one too many hurdles that must be scaled in the Nigerian environment, adding that this explains why commerce, and not industry, is thriving.

He said that it was quite easy to import products and make quick profit, but that is not sustainable in an economy aspiring for growth. In his words: “We cannot continue living on commerce to the neglect of industry. Whether we like it or not, we must have organisations like Miraflash that would be producing locally. Even if it is intermediate production, once it is mastered, then we can start the primary production using available locally sourced raw materials,” he said.

While a stable polity and economy cannot be overemphasized, Ojo said, government must begin to consider declaring a pharmaceutical village to stimulate local production in pharmaceuticals.

Ojo, who is the Managing Director of Merit Healthcare Limited, Isolo, Lagos, said: “All these money they are using or not using to buy arms could be used to declare a pharmaceutical village; divide it into industrial plots, encourage people to come, provide amenities to sustain them and give money at five or six per cent, then the sector would develop massively.”

He further harped on the importance of patronage, saying “If Ogun State government decides that it will buy from people producing in the state, then, they will have more than enough of all the multivites, ampiclox ampicillin among others that are used in the state. That is how to make manufacturing attractive and more people will come on board,” he said.

Ojo congratulated Miraflash management and staff for adding to the list of local manufacturing companies, adding that the new factory stands to benefit the country with quality products and employment creation.

Managing Director of Miraflash, Moses Oluwalade, said further that the government needs to declare a state of emergency in the industrial pharmaceutical sector.

Oluwalade noted that the manufacturing arm of the sector, if properly motivated, is worth billions of dollars in annual revenue.

According to him, “We want the present administration to declare a state of emergency in manufacturing section and provide enabling environment so that more company can come up. Instead of providing job for another country, we can actually create job here in Nigeria for our populace.

“We want government to create enabling environment for businesses to strive in Nigeria. There are a lot of businesses that have closed down due to hostile environment. When I say hostile, I mean no light, no water and no good road. All these are problems, if they are properly addressed, more business will strive, and more importantly lack of capital, government should do a lot in making available, accessible and avoidable capital to manufacturers.

“At current rate of lending in commercial bank no manufacturer will survive, the interest rate have to be reasonable for manufacturers to survive,” he said.

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