National Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP) has called on the federal government to support local manufacturers with various forms of investments to enhance local manufacture of drugs for the benefit of Nigerians.
It also said industrial pharmacists should be given preferential treatment in procurement of local products to stimulate more investments from the private sector.
Speaking during a two-day symposium to mark the 20th national conference of the Association, a former Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Sam Ohuabunwa, said when industrial pharmacists are supported, it would increase outputs, accessibility and improved outreach for new products to meet the needs of Nigerians.
According to him, â€œThe combination of these factors will raise productivity, which is the GDP, increase component of products made in Nigeria to enhance self-sufficiency and also reduce the risk of depending on the world to provide us such an essential thing as pharmaceutical product.â€
Ohuabunwa, who chaired the opening session, said things were beginning to look up for manufacturers, with governmentâ€™s policies in the area of tariffs, ease of doing business, and foreign exchange allocation, adding that the pharmaceutical sector will benefit.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, School Netherlands, Nigeria, Lere Baale, said industrial pharmacists were targeting an annual growth rate of 12 to 15 per cent to improve its contributions to the economy.
He said if the industry grows steadily by 12 per cent, the sub-sector would be producing over 70 per cent of pharmaceutical needs locally, adding that at the moment, 30 per cent were produced in Nigeria and 70 per cent imported.
He noted that the industry in India grows by 11.6 per cent, as such; the 12 per cent target was not beyond Nigeria. Adding that, at 12 per cent growth rate, the sub-sector would have at least doubled its contribution to the GDP in six years or in five years if the growth rate is 15 per cent.
Speaking on the theme: â€˜Growing the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry for greater
economic impact,â€™ he reiterated the need for collaboration for the industrialists to work with academias in the field and the government.