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Tinubu Signs Executive Order to Boost Local Pharmaceutical Production

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President Bola Tinubu has issued an executive order aimed at revitalizing Nigeria’s health sector by eliminating tariffs, excise duties, and Value-Added Tax (VAT) on imported pharmaceutical inputs.

The move is set to significantly enhance local production of critical healthcare products across the country.

Announcing the executive order on Friday, Muhammad Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, highlighted its transformative impact on Nigeria’s healthcare landscape.

“In a bold step to revitalize the Nigerian health sector, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has signed an Executive Order to increase local production of healthcare products including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices like needles and syringes, biologicals, and medical textiles,” said Pate.

The order, part of the initiative to unlock the healthcare value chain (PVAC_NG) approved by the President in October 2023, eliminates tariffs, excise duties, and VAT on specified machinery, equipment, and raw materials.

This measure aims to lower production costs and bolster the competitiveness of local manufacturers.

“The specified items include Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), excipients, and other essential raw materials crucial for manufacturing drugs, syringes and needles, long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), rapid diagnostic kits, among others,” explained Pate.

“Furthermore, the order introduces market-shaping mechanisms such as framework contracts and volume guarantees to stimulate local production.”

The implementation framework of the executive order mandates collaboration among the ministries of health, finance, industry, trade, and investment.

This collaborative effort aims to streamline regulatory approvals and reduce bureaucratic hurdles.

Key agencies including the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are tasked with ensuring swift implementation.

Special waivers and exemptions will be effective for a period of two years to facilitate the transition.

“The implications of this order pivot towards market-based incentives, promoting medical industrialization and gradually reducing dependency on imported medical products,” stated Pate.

“This strategic move is expected to create economic value, foster job creation, and sustain the growth of the healthcare value chain in Nigeria.”

Pate expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for his leadership and commitment to advancing Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

He also acknowledged the collaborative efforts of stakeholders whose contributions culminated in this milestone achievement.

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