Crusoe Osagie identifies the challenges facing Nigeria’s industrial sector as Africa Marks another Industrialisation Day and commends the effort of GSK on improving the nation’s productive economy
The 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in July 1989, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia declared November 20 as Africa Industrialisation day.
As the continent’s industrialisation day celebration creeps on Nigerians again today, the nation’s industrial space has remained largely sparse, owing to the many challenges now too well recognised: poor power supply; nonexistent public infrastructure; malignant insecurity problems and dearth of skilled manpower.
Industrial capacity utilisation has hovered around 40 per cent or less in the last decade and investments in manufacturing have been few and far between.
Despite the gloomy conditions in the real sector, a few companies have braved the odds and committed significant investments in a sector considered by the faint hearted as the investor’s grave.
A good example of the display of confidence in the Nigerian real sector worthy of note as the nation marks the end of another industrial year is GlaxoSmithKline (GSK’s) foray into the skin beauty market, and its acquisition of Siefel, makers of the world-renowned Physiogel skin care brand.
Siefel is a global leader in the field of dermatology with a strong presence in over 130 countries. GSK Siefel is now set to redefine the skin care industry segment in Nigeria.
This authenticates GSK’s commitment to producing effective solutions and products to enable people feel better, do more and live longer. The strategic diversification is part of an overall expansion programme in excess of N24 billion over the next three years. This further underscores the importance of Nigeria to as a key emerging market.
Physiogel is an innovative face and body care for dry and sensitive skin. It is a robust science based product, specially formulated with growing amount of skin-identical lipids to mimic and therefore satisfy cosmetic and medical consumer needs.
Given Nigeria’s huge population as well as the harsh climatic conditions, Physiogel will enable GSK gain market leadership in the growing skin care market
Speaking at the new product presentation, the Managing Director for GSK Pharmaceutical in Anglophone West Africa (AWA), Mr. Lekan Asuni, noted that, “Nigerian is a very important market in Africa. As one of the leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, we are committed to continuously innovate towards ensuring top quality products and meeting the specific needs of our Nigerian consumers.
“We are configured to revolutionise the industry and expand our scope. As part of this expansion bid, GSK recently acquired Siefel, a global organisation specialised in skincare,” he added. This is part of a multibillion Naira strategic investment outlook
He further disclosed that, laboratory and epidemiological studies have shown that, severe weather conditions could lead to the depletion of the ozone layer and high levels of UVBs to the earth surface, which can cause acne breakouts, itchy dry patches, skin diseases or even skin cancer.
He therefore explained that, Physiogel has come to the rescue, as its formulation is tailored towards protecting and restoring skin barriers.
Also speaking at the event, the Marketing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical – AWA, Mr. Grant Onedo, explained that, dry skin needs special care to maintain and restore the lipid barrier. This generally involves the use of cleansers and moisturisers, which blend water and lipid ingredients. They often contain emulsifiers that cannot meet all the individual needs of the skin.
“To address this need, Physiogel, which has a special technology called Derma-Membrane-Structure (DMS) was designed to mimic the skin itself. With DMS technology, lipids essential to skin are embedded in a lamellar structure matrix, which allows the avoidance of conventional emulsifiers. Creams with DMS technology support the natural barrier properties of the skin and can be used on all skin types, including very dry, sensitive, and irritated skin,” he said.
GSK’s investment in the manufacturing sector deserves accolades mainly because the productive sector of Nigerian economy has not been the most attractive to investors for obvious reasons.
However Nigeria cannot attain its lofty economic goals unless more ventures like GSK’s are replicated across the nation because only economies that add value and produce the goods that they consume hold the key to the prosperity of the next decade.