Tinubu Signs Executive Order to Boost Local Production of Healthcare Products

By Joke Kujenya

A DECISIVE action has been taken by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to bolster Nigeria’s healthcare sector by signing an executive order aimed at increasing domestic production of essential healthcare products.

The announcement came from Muhammad Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, who affirmed the order’s role in revitalizing the country’s health industry.

The executive order, a pivotal move in Tinubu’s agenda, eliminates tariffs, excise duties, and Value-Added Tax (VAT) on specified machinery, equipment, and raw materials crucial for pharmaceutical production.

This initiative is expected to significantly reduce production costs, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of local manufacturers.

Pate emphasized the order’s strategic alignment with the Healthcare Value Chain initiative approved by the president in October 2023.

Key provisions include incentives to spur medical industrialization and promote import substitution over time.

Essential items covered under the order include Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), excipients, syringes, needles, Long-lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs), and Rapid Diagnostic Kits.

Moreover, the order mandates collaboration among the Ministries of Health, Finance, and Industry, Trade, and Investment to streamline regulatory processes and expedite approvals. Agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are tasked with ensuring swift implementation through waivers and exemptions effective for a two-year period.

Pate expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for his leadership in fostering economic growth and job creation within the healthcare sector. He credited the collaborative efforts that culminated in the executive order as a milestone towards achieving sustainable healthcare development in Nigeria.

The announcement, Pate said, follows a concerted appeal by stakeholders, including TheCable, for urgent policy interventions to address rising medication costs, known as “drugflation” as the executive order is poised to not only mitigate these challenges but also catalyze local manufacturing capabilities, reinforcing Nigeria’s journey towards healthcare self-sufficiency and economic resilience.

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