By Henry Uche
The Federal Government of Nigeria has no choice but to support indigenous pharmaceutical companies/manufacturers to boost local content by offering tax holidays, tax waivers, concessions and other incentives, particularly to entrepreneurs in the private sector, as proof of its commitment towards the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as well as the Economic Sustainability Plan. This was the stance of the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, recently.
Abdullahi made this known over the weekend at an inspection tour of a new ultra-modern World Health Organisation-complaint pharmaceutical factory set up by Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on 60 hectares of land in Sagamu, Ogun State, the the company’s fourth factory of in the country.
Abdullahi, commending Emzor, said government, which has given top priority to the health sector in the last two years, would not relent in doing everything necessary to upgrade the infrastructure of the sector, even as it strives to keep COVID-19 in check.
“We commend Emzor, and we encourage others to follow suit, the Federal Government shall opt for public-private partnership to take the health sector higher. Certain plans are in the pipeline to give the health sector its deserved attention. We are investing in research and development in line with Objective Four of the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan. In the next two years, Nigerians will see the results,” he said.
On her part, the founder/chief executive officer, Emzor, Stella Okoli, in her speech, said the new facility, known as Emzor Campus, was a well-thought-out project designed to meet the need to keep Nigerians healthy.
“The factory is cGMP-compliant and has already manufactured and supplied millions of doses of medication, ranging from anti -malarial, paediatric care, vitamins and antiretroviral to various international organizations through partnerships for public health intervention.”
Okoli added that the factory had modern equipment, machines and competent personnel: “We have the dissolution storage, weighing room and solvent storage, among others.”
She reiterated their commitment to pursue research and development to keep pace with global best practices and deliver the best medicines to not only Nigeria but Africa and beyond.
“We are committed to the manufacture of high-quality essential medicines in several therapeutic categories, particularly those that address the leading causes of maternal and child mortality. We are the largest indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturer in the country, with over 120 products, all National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control-approved. We are not resting on our past achievements; we still have more to offer to humanity. All we want is sound policies, programs and a pro-business environment to thrive,” she added.
Okoli affirmed that the company was proud of its contributions so far towards breathing health into the lives of people in Africa and beyond, adding that, “We have an unwavering commitment to provide our customers with healthcare products and services with consistent high quality, made readily available at prices which create value for all stakeholders.
“We shall not lose focus on being the leading healthcare company in Africa through the provision of world-class products and services as we strive to remain a household name in Nigeria and a leader in the pharmaceutical market known for quality products at prices that offer real value.
“Our products are widely distributed throughout Nigeria and the West African coast. Our commitment is to produce and deliver flawless products on time and every time.”