10 phamaceuticals firms to get prefered forex funding to boost local drug production
The Bankers Committee Saturday directed all oil firms and related companies to henceforth sell all their dollar to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alone and no longer to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
The Committee which comprises the CBN top managenement and Chief Executive of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) also resolved to grant prefered forex funding and credit facilities to ten major phamaceutical firms in order to exponetially increase local drug production so as to enhance the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
These were highlights of a special meeting of the committee held tolday in Lagos to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 on the banking system and on the economy in general.
Stressing the need to boost local capacity for drup production, the committee stated: “Given that this crisis is first and foremost a public health crisis. We are paying particular attention to our health industry. 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 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 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.
Among other things the committee also resolved that the efforts of the CBN and banks will focus on preserving confidence and providing support to the local economy.
The committee stated: “It was resolved that the CBN and banking industry will collaborate at this critical moment with one coherent strategy to provide confidence to the customers, counter parties, the public and most importantly, put Nigeria first.
“The industry has learnt lessons from previous crisis including the 2008 global financial crisis and oil price slump of 2016 which will be applicable and position and industry to better deal with this crisis.
“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 overring objectives.
“Engagements will be held with correspondent banks, trade creditors, trading partners regarding existing LC and trade commitments. The industry is committed to resolving these commitments in a comprehensive and orderly way. There will be transparent and open communication with all counterparties.
“In view of the significant disruption of the global supply chain, the bankers committee advises Nigerians and companies to begin prioritising their import needs and focus more on sourcing raw materials and inputs locally.
“The bankers committee noted the success of the CBN’S 43 items policy and encouraged it to strengthen it and other measures targeted at export promotion and/or import substitution to position Nigeria as a key global producer and build a self-sufficient economy.”