The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and bankers committee have identified local pharmaceutical companies that would be granted funding facilities to procure raw materials and equipment.
Some of the companies named by the committee at its meeting on Saturday include Emzor, Fidson, GSK, May&Baker, Unique Pharma, Swiss Pharma, Neimeth, Sagar, Orange Drugs and Dana Pharma.
This is part of efforts to cushion the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Nigerian economy.
“Given that this crisis is first and foremost a public health crisis, we are paying particular attention to our health industry,” a communique released at the end of its meeting read.
“As aforementioned, global supply chains have been disrupted including dominant drug supply channels from China and India. In fact, many countries have or are planning to ban the export of drugs and medical supplies from their countries. Clearly, we have no choice but to produce these items locally.
“Thus, the committee has identified a few key local pharmaceutical companies who shall be granted naira and FX funding facilities to support the procurement of raw materials and equipment required to exponentially increase local drug production in Nigeria.
“These include but are not limited to Emzor, Fidson, GSK, May&Baker, Unique Pharma, Swiss Pharma, Neimeth, Sagar, Orange Drugs, Dana Pharma etc.”
The committee said it has learnt lessons from the previous economic crisis in 2008 and the oil price slump of 2016 hence the decision to “put Nigeria first”.
“The industry resolved that profit will not be the primary motive at this time. Rather, preserving confidence, financial stability and support for the economy will be the overriding objectives,” it said.
Nigerians and companies were advised to focus more on sourcing raw materials and inputs locally.
The CBN has also increased its economic interventions by N1.1 trillion.