- Govt to Review Tariffs
The Federal Government will review existing tariffs structure to remove impediments inhibiting the growth of local industries, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said.
Osinbajo said the high tariffs imposed on local products are not encouraging growth, adding that the government is working towards restructuring the current tariff structure to discourage the importation of products.
Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, while declaring open the 89th annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in Minna, yesterday, said the Federal Government recognised the importance of the health sector and is committed to expanding the sector by encouraging the growth of pharmaceutical industries in the country.
“The role of pharmacists is very vital and critical to the development of Nigeria, they are an indispensable link. The PSN has contributed its quota to the development of Nigeria; they have contributed to the increase of quality healthcare in the country,” Osinbajo said.
He stressed government’s determination to reposition the economy, by getting the fundamentals right under the reform efforts.
In his address, Prof Adewole said government will continue to support the local production of pharmaceutical products.
He challenged local manufacturing companies to produce long lasting treated insecticide mosquito nets to stop government from importing these products from other countries.
“If the local manufacturers can produce the treated mosquito nets and they are of the right quality, the government will patronise them. We intend to give preference to local manufacturers of essential medicines,”Adewole said. He urged the pharmacists to join hands with the government in eliminating substandard and counterfeit products in the health sector.
Earlier, PSN President, Ahmed Yakasi, said the group was donating N50 million worth of various drugs to the Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDP) camps in the Northeast, adding that pharmacists were ready to volunteer their services whenever it is needed in the camps.
He said for any nation to achieve sustainable developmenmt, food and medicines security must be accorded priority in the national agenda. He called for the implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guideline.
Yakasi lamented that the atmosphere of competition, confrontation and distrust in the health sector is part of the banes of the sector and have contributed to the poor indices of health in the country.
He called on the Federal Government to give pharmaceutical manufacturers attractive incentives and support, pointing out that the country has the highest number of pharmaceutical manufacturers in sub-Saharan Africa.