Pharmaceutical industry needs N30bn bailout, says Okoli
The Chief Executive Officer of Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Dr Stella Okoli, on Monday said the pharmaceutical industry was in need of urgent government intervention, as it required injection of funds in the region of N30 billion.
Okoli told newsmen at an interactive session in Lagos that injection of funds by the government would help the industry to do better and take its rightful place in the country.
The pharmacist, also member, Board of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council, said it was unfortunate that the previous administration in the country left out the pharmaceutical industry out in its bailout programme.
She, however, urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to give the needed support in order to enable the industry to create more jobs and meet up in the area of required vaccines in the country.
“The industry must be funded so that we can buy the equipment, machinery and raw materials in the Nigerian industries,” Okoli said.
The pharmacist also called for the downward review of interest rates in order to make the industries more comfortable in the competitive market.
She appealed to the Lagos State Government to do away with multiple taxation, describing the current tax regime as “very challenging“ for those in the industry in the state.
Okoli also urged the federal government to equip its hospitals and discourage Nigerians from traveling to India for medical tourism.
According to her, the government needs to quickly set up a new national industrial policy and encourage young people who are very good in Information Technology (IT).
She said that the computer village in Lagos State could be converted into a training ground for young brains on IT-related areas to enable them to make more meaningful contributions in the country.
“Use our youths and encourage the industries that have been there, and fashion a way to continue to attract foreign direct investment – those that love Nigeria; those that come to help us and not those that have come to hurt us,” the pharmacist said.
Okoli said the Federal Government had a lot to learn from Asian countries and their use of industrial parks, urging the authorities to transform the nation’s fortunes with an industrial revolution.