Members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) are urging government officials to establish a development fund to stimulate and expand the country’s pharma manufacturing sector.
In a recent presentation, the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to follow the lead in Ghana and other West African countries where pharmaceutical manufacturing development funds have been set up, The National Mirror of Nigeria reported.
Ahmed Yakasai, president of PSN, said that establishing such a fund with respect to accessing FOREX (foreign exchange) would allow manufacturers to quickly stock pharmaceutical raw materials when they run low, which would guarantee an uninterrupted supply of medicines to the Nigerian people. Additionally, he urged lawmakers to extend a 0% common external tariff to raw and packaging materials that currently have duties that range from 5% to 20%.
“Our industry has the potential to contribute over a million jobs to the Nigerian economy,” PSN leaders told The National Mirror. “A majority of [World Health Organization]-certified pharmaceutical companies in Africa are from Nigeria. Through exportation, the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector can therefore become a major FOREX earner for the country.”
The group also called for changes in qualifications to become the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control that require candidates to have a good knowledge of pharmacy, food and drugs.