The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, has urged manufacturers to take advantage of import duty waivers through the Import Duty Exemption Certification.
Adebayo, who was represented by the Deputy Director of Industrial Development at the ministry, Mr. Mohammed Bala, said this during a national symposium organised by the INGO Third Sector Resource and African Business Roundtable in Abuja.
The symposium was on the implications of import dependence for ARVs/vaccines for HIV, COVID-19 and related health responses and the need to accelerate local production in Nigeria in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
He said, “The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments has developed what we call IDEC, Import Duty Exemption Certificate, to address this manufacturing issue, how we can intervene. Those in the pharmaceutical industry should come up to the ministry to see how we can support them. IDEC is in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Finance, where incentives are given to local manufacturers.
“The other one is that we are promoting the BIPC, Backward Integration Programme Certificate, where local industries are certified and can have access government incentives,” Bala said.
Bala further said that the trade ministry was committed to contributing its quota in ensuring that there is an all-round development of the health industry in Nigeria.
He added that the ministry was developing a policy framework that would facilitate the manufacturing of drugs, conventional and herbal vaccine, and medical instruments diagnostics in the country.
He said, “The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment is in the process of developing the policy framework. The policy framework will facilitate the development of the capacity process of self-efficiency in the manufacture of drugs, conventional and herbal vaccine, medical instruments diagnostics and product as well as sustainable health industry that is locally endowed and internationally recognised.”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the Director of Food and Drugs Services, Mrs Olubunmi Aribeana, however, informed the audience that only the health ministry has the mandate to issue IDEC to pharmaceutical and health-related importers.
She added that Nigeria lacks active pharmaceutical ingredients to be one of the world’s manufacturers of vaccines.
She urged the country to aim at becoming pharmaceutically independent and self-reliant to gain an adequate local capacity to produce essential medical products and commodities.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who was represented by an Assistant Director, David Erabhalemon, said that it was high time the Federal Government encouraged the local manufacturing of APIs to make Nigeria less dependent on the importation of pharmaceutical raw materials.