COVID-19: CBN, banks to provide funds for pharmaceutical companies

The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee have said they will give financial support to some specific pharmaceutical companies in the country, as part of efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
After an extraordinary meeting in Lagos on Saturday, they pledged to grant funding facilities (in naira and foreign exchange) to pharmaceutical companies to enable them to procure raw materials and equipment to boost local drug production in Nigeria.
The Bankers’ Committee also gave its support to the over N3.5tn policy measures earlier disclosed by the CBN in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 on Nigeria.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who chaired the meeting and read the communiqué, listed the companies to include Emzor, Fidson, GSK, May & Baker, Unique Pharma, Swiss Pharma, Neimeth, Sagar, Orange Drugs, and Dana Pharma.
According to him, the Bankers’ Committee took the decision to support the pharmaceutical companies, given the fact that the present pandemic was of grave public health concern, coupled with the fact that many drug-manufacturing countries planned or had already banned the export of drugs and medical supplies from their respective countries.
He observed that this left Nigeria with no choice but to produce the drugs locally.
While disclosing that engagements would be held with correspondent banks, trade creditors, trading partners regarding existing letters of credit and trade commitments, the CBN governor assured that the industry was committed to resolving all existing commitments in a comprehensive and orderly way.
Emefiele said the industry had also resolved that profit would not be the primary motive at this time.

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