CHIEF Executives of top Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Companies under the auspices of PMG-MAN recently met to review the new directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Forex sales to end users.
The APEX bank’s decision to ensure that at least 60 per cent of Forex sales are made to local manufacturers was acclaimed as a timely intervention to boost local manufacturing.
Since local pharmaceutical manufacturing is directly linked to national healthcare, a strong argument was also presented for the immediate prioritisation of the Pharma sector, in order to maintain National health and ensure the sanctity of human lives.
PMG-MAN Chairman, Mr Okey Akpa, disclosed that other key policies that needed pressing reforms in order to rescue the local Pharma industry and in turn safeguard National healthcare include the ECOWAS CET (Common External Tariff) policy.
He called on Government to urgently address the anomaly created by CET, whereby imported medicines attract zero duty while raw and packaging materials for local manufacturing attract up to 20 per cent duty. This, he argued was inimical to National interest.
He appreciated efforts made so far in addressing the CET imbalance, but warned that the high attrition rate in the sector, and the disastrous consequences of further delays, indicated the need for Government’s imminent intervention.
He added that access to Funding at single digit interest rate was another urgent intervention needed to reverse the catastrophic decline in the sector.