The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, has restated the government’s commitment to promoting local drug manufacturers in the country.
Abdullahi disclosed this during a visit to Emzor Ultra Modern WHO-Compliant factory in Sagamu, Ogun State on Friday.
He said that government would continue to do all within its capacity to promote and support local drug manufacturers.
“What we have seen here is what any responsible government will support and encourage.
“With all that is on ground, I believe Emzor should be part of the country’s manufacturer that should be encouraged through the Global Fund and other monetary agencies.
“Global Fund has committed over 890 million dollars over three years and I am happy that the country’s representative of the Global Fund is here with us.
“The present dispensation of President Buhari will do all it can to actualise one of the main objectives of this government to promote local manufacturers in the country,” he said.
He said policies that would encourage more Nigerians to patronise locally made drugs would be put in place.
“There is no how you can produce your product here and yet some sharp importers are going behind to smuggle drugs into the country, thereby, making locally made drugs less competitive.
“The government will also look into making policies, where local manufacturers must be patronised for health sector procurement and certain percentage must be allocated to them,” Abdullahi said.
He urged the management of the company not to relent on its efforts in producing more quality drugs in the country.
Also speaking, Mrs Uzoma Ezeoke, the Executive Director of Emzor, said that the 60 hectares factory was conceived to drive the company’s expansion drive.
“The plan to build this factory started a long time ago and this is the fourth factory owned by Emzor.
“This factory is seated on 60 hectares of land and some of the products we decided to manufacture are essential products needed in the country and will require more space.
“The factory has four different plants with separate water, air and separate warehouses to enable us meet international standard,” Ezeoke said.
She noted that the company which had over 200 products would continue to up its game to deliver more quality products.
“International quality in our industry is tied to process which means you have to ensure a process closes before you start another one, same is product manufacturing and this phase is another process.
“Apart from drug manufacturing, we are also into other medical equipment and we intend to go into vaccine production when the time comes,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary alongside other top officials of the ministry were taken around the factory during the visit.
Emzor Pharmaceuticals founded by Dr Stella Okoli, as a retail pharmacy in 1977 began drug manufacturing in 1984.