The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has announced government willingness to support Fidson Healthcare Plc as well as other local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies on drug manufacturing.
The Minister who spoke during a visit to Fidson’s newly constructed manufacturing plant, commended the company for the facility, saying that it deserves the support and patronage from government and other stakeholders.
At the familiarisation tour of the multi-billion naira state-of-the-art factory located in Sango Ota, Ogun State, Prof. Adewole described the facility as a wonder saying he is impressed with its enormous production capacity.
“What Fidson has built here is extraordinary. We must encourage and support this project in terms of patronage and tax relief in order to ensure that the company is able to coordinate production in a sustainable manner”, Prof Adewole said.
The Minister while promising government support, further remarked that part of the support will also be in the area of importation of raw materials. “We will get the Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority to witness this so that there can be support in terms of getting on board more raw materials needed for drug manufacturing”.
He also promised a review of the policy on importation tariff on raw materials, particularly as it affects local manufacturing of medicines in Nigeria. “We have discussed with the Minister of Trade and Investment asking for a reversal of the policy on the high tariff on imported raw materials. My visit to this new factory is another reminder in that regard”, he said.
Prof. Adewole also stressed that the guiding principle of the present administration is focused on creating the market for local manufacturers through patronage, protection and payment.
“As far as patronage is concerned, the government will patronise local pharmaceutical manufacturers. We will also offer protection while ensuring that we clear outstanding payments and will only place orders when there are funds for immediate payment”, he said.
The Managing Director, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Dr Fidelis Ayebae, revealed that the new manufacturing facility is one of the five facilities shortlisted for World Health Organisation (WHO) certification in Nigeria. “It is an ultra-modern facility with high-tech machinery for manufacturing pharmaceutical products, in compliance with global standards and WHO certification. The plant, which boasts of an unprecedented capacity for drug production, is equipped with six production lines – tablets, Capsules, Liquids, Cream and Ointments, Dry Powder and Intravenous fluids to meet the needs of the Nigerian and West African markets”, he said.
Speaking on the Minister’s familiarisation visit to the factory, Dr. Ayebae expressed optimism that with government’s support, the new plant would not only boost local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, it will also transform the country’s pharmaceutical industry and the economy at large.
Dr Ayebae said the present position of the country’s pharmaceutical manufacturing business requires such transformational investment to meet future healthcare demands of Nigerians. He noted that with the completion of the plant, Nigerian pharma industry stands a chance of being launched into global reckoning and attract foreign investors.
He highlighted the several benefits of the factory to include high quality and affordable healthcare products, world-class pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, employment generation, increased local content, generation of stronger partnerships, as well as strategic brand and market positioning.
He said the plant would manufacture large scale pharmaceutical products that would take care of the healthcare needs of Nigerians, thereby further strengthening the company’s leadership position in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry and also place the company on the global pharmaceutical reckoning.