From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the federal government to set up a special intervention fund to enable them access to foreign exchange, stressing that 90 percent of input materials for manufacturing in the country are imported.
The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Office Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Matthew Azoji, made the call on the sidelines of the 19th National Productivity Day Celebration and Conferment of National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM), on 48 eminent Nigerians and organisations in both public and private sectors, for high productivity, hardwork and excellence.
Azoji, while responding to a question on what challenges government should address, said: “The challenges we would like government to pay attention, we (Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc), are a local manufacturer of pharmaceutical products. And the foreign exchange is a major issue for us. We want to ask the government to support the pharmaceutical manufacturer, a group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to improve access to foreign exchange, because it has been a major problem, more than 90 percent of input materials for manufacturing in Nigeria are imported.
“If there is a special intervention that the government can do, for local manufacturers particularly, pharmaceutical manufacturers that are improving access to medicines for the ordinary Nigerians. “So, if you have better access to foreign exchange, it will improve the availability of medicines and in a cost effective manner, because foreign exchange has become a major cost of increasing cost of pharmaceuticals in Nigeria.”While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for the award, he said it will cause us to work harder and pursue excellence for the benefit of Nigerians.
On what he did to merit the ward, Azoji, “Well, in all the organizations I have worked, I have committed myself to excellence and improving the outcome that is achieved. Within the three years I have been a managing director/CEO, the company has gone from a period of loss to period of profitability. We have been able to achieve a situation where the company paid dividends, after 10 years of non-dividend payments.