Pharmacists under the aegis of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have hailed the Federal Government on the recent Executive Order on support for local content in public procurement.
Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had on May 18, 2017, signed the Executive Order, which mandated all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to give preference to local goods and services in their procurement activities.
The order also directed that made-in-Nigeria products should be given preference in the procurement of relevant items as it stipulated that 40 per cent of spending by the MDAs must be expended on locally manufactured goods and services.
A statement jointly signed by Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, PSN President and Pharm Gbolagade Iyiola, PSN National Secretary, which was made available to Independent, noted that the federal government deserves commendation for deeming it fit to include locally manufactured medicines in the Executive Order as specified in its Section 4F of the order.
This move will surely give a boost to pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria by guaranteeing adequate medicines supply for our local needs as well as export that will earn foreign currency for the economy, the statement added.
PSN urged the players in the pharmaceutical companies to exploit this window of opportunity with all seriousness.
“Doing this will place the pharmaceutical industry on a pedestal where it will be able to contribute its own quota to the growth of the economy by providing employment opportunities to the teeming Nigerian youths.”
However, PSN urged government to operate this policy thrust with sincerity of purpose by ensuring that companies are paid promptly by MDAs after they make supplies to them.
Recently, government parastatals had been frustrating transactions between them and private players with huge burden of debts for supplies coupled with bureaucracy and corruption endemic in the system when payments are to be made, it noted.
PSN further called for a boost in the operating environments for the pharmaceutical industry.
According to the body of pharmacists, the operating environments need to be made more conducive with improvement in infrastructure, cheap loan facilities and a regime of tax holidays as we have been canvassing all along.
The group also pledged her continued commitment towards the realisation of sustainable access to affordable and quality medicines to Nigerians.