With the hardship facing the economy of Nigeria, some manufacturers are relying on the government to provide for the activities in their sector.
The Manufactures Association of Nigeria otherwise known as MAN is calling on the federal government to allocate a huge sum of NGN300 billion to pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in other to restore their standard in regional and international market.
The scarcity of the dollar is what crashed the sector down since most of the raw materials used for pharmaceutical manufacturing are imported and this has affected the big guys in the sector like May and Baker, Neimeth, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, etc.
Quoting a memorandum released by MAN in 2016 it said “Government should therefore facilitate the setting up of a NGN300 billion Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Expansion Development Fund (PMEDF), in line with regional policies (this has been done in Ghana and other West African nations where disbursement has commenced). “The PMEDF will stimulate development of innovative products suitable for our environment as well as enable us compete with international firms.”
According to the document,MAN also wants External Tariffs to be lifted off their raw materials because it does not favour the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies as raw materials attract 5 % duty while finished products (medicines) attract 0% duty, that way, locally made medicines will become more affordable than the imported ones .
MAN, therefore, proposed that “Import Adjustment Tax of 20 per cent should be applied to medicines in HS Codes 3003 and 3004; these are finished products with adequate capacity to produce. Government should facilitate the implementation and development of the sector through various relevant policies governing public procurement of medicines. “As such, all Government Healthcare establishments should be encouraged to increase domestic patronage of Local Pharmaceutical products.
Government should formulate a robust and comprehensive tax incentive package for the development of the pharmaceutical sector. This should include the granting of tax holidays for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers that have made new capital investments towards increasing plant output or launching new plants; as well as granting tax waivers for investment in research and development.”