Obi Peter Adigwe
Obi Peter Adigwe

Martins Ifijeh

The Executive Secretary, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMGMAN, Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe, has said that the 2017 Nigeria Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Expo (NPME) will maximise the gains of President Muhammadu Buhari’s policies on patronage of local medicine production in the country.

He said with government’s recent approval of an Executive Order on support for Local Content in Public Procurement, directing the mandatory patronage of Locally Manufactured Medicines by all government MDAs, the Expo, will help in accelerating the growth and development of the trade.

In a statement made available to THISDAY, Adigwe said the Expo was billed to attract close to 200 exhibiting companies and nearly 10,000 pharma and related sectors’ trade professionals from across the continent, including from Ghana, Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Senegal, Morocco, The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Benin, and South Africa.

He said this year’s edition tagged: ‘Increasing Access to Healthcare in Nigeria: Strategic Partnerships to Achieve Medicines’ Security and National Self Sufficiency’ is expected to surpass all stakeholders’ expectations, adding that this will be due to the robust and comprehensive advocacy by PMGMAN, which has resulted in significant advances in the Pharma Manufacturing Policy Landscape, in Nigeria as well as on the Continent.

“This will in turn assure National Medicines’ Security as well as boost self sufficiency in the production of medicines. Other positive outcomes associated with these policies include the stimulation of considerable employment in the sector. The policy will also lead to increased inflow of Foreign Direct Investment as well as facilitate the export of Nigerian medicines to neighbouring countries,” he added.

“These Policy Reforms represent only a fraction of the strategic engagement roadmap developed and initiated by the group to foster a favourable policy environment for local manufacturers.” He added that this year’s theme was carefully formulated to ensure the timely involvement of all relevant stakeholders in an industry he described the jewel of the nation in terms of criticality and potential profitability.

Adigwe further indicated that favourable government policies together with the right local and international partners were key factors that could bring Nigeria’s Pharma Manufacturing Industry within a stone’s throw of the Indian model where Pharma Manufacturing has become a major contributor to India’s Ten Trillion Dollar Economy.

To build on this, the WAPMA President and PMGMAN Chairman, Dr. S. Okey Akpa during his presentation to the ECOWAS Health Ministers’ Assembly, urged Members Nations, as well as Development Partners to support the on-going collaborative efforts to exponentially increase manufacturers’ capacity on the continent. This, he argued was the most sustainable manner to guarantee access to high quality, affordable medicines within the Region.

The NPME, which is the biggest International Pharma Manufacturing Exhibition in Central and West Africa is scheduled to hold from August 30th to the 1st of September, 2017 in Lagos State.