There is urgent need for Nigeria’s Manufacturing Industry space to accommodate the knowledge realm-especially the Universities, Polytechnics and R&D Institutions in a Strategic alliances for the mutual benefits of all stakeholders in the emerging knowledge economy.
Special attention should be paid to national pharmaceutical security with progressive enhancement of domestic production of medicines/vaccines and delebrate policy of incremental reduction in excess importation of pharmaceutical products.
Nigeria should imbibe the culture of quality services delivery in the health sectors and encourage domestic National Quality Infrastructure within the medicine/vacine production/supply value-chains.
The Project Manager, Strategy Implementation Task Unit, SITU, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, Henry Chukwudi Eteama stated the above at the 7th Nigeria Manufacturing and Equipment, NME, Co-located with Nigeria Raw Materials Exposition, NME-NIRAM Expo, organized By Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, last week in Lagos.
Speaking with the theme “The Future of Manufacturing and Strategies for Global Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products Development In Nigeria”, he said the Future of Manufacturing is laden with priceless benefits to the development of Nigeria and creation of our commonwealth.
He said global competitiveness imperatives should be the driving force in our manufacturing ecosystem in the pursuit of the 4th Industrial Revolution now at our doorstep.
On Data Development and Management, he said, “Data provides knowledge related to every activity towards pharmaceutical products development, manufacturing and marketing. Indeed, without data, it is difficult to evaluate current situation of both systems, process, products and consumers of the products.
The Project Manager further stated that demographic and economic data help develop and establish appropriate plant size for investment. it helps in measurement of existing potentials, weakness and opportunities of the pharma ecosystem. Hence without data, adequate business plan cannot be guranteed and most decision would be based on speculation and guess work.
Speaking on Funding and Financing Arrangements, he said, due to the peculiar nature of the pharmaceutical industrial sector, nations provide adequate funding in support of R&D, human capital development programmes and provision of strategic infrastructure to ensure sustained manufacturing of medicines/vaccines in the country. “Less emphasis is usually placed on market of demand & supply forces alone in price determination, while subsidies are provided to keep medicines/vaccines manufacturing industry in operation. By guaranteeing bulk purchase for wider access through effective and secured distributive channels, storage facility development and channels of dispensing medicines and vaccines, funding and financing is achieved in sustainable manner”, he stressed.
Government all over the world according to him do not allow incidence of low level of pharmaceutical product capacity and over dependence on other nations through massive importation.
He pointed out that COVID 19 Pandemic era provided good lessons of possible period of global lock down whereby nations depend majorly on local capacities to survive. Therefore availability, accessibility and affordability of medicines/vaccines in Nigeria should be given both executive and legislative attention in funding and financing both industries and businesses and guarantee price stability in tandem with citizen purchasing power for medicines/vaccines in the same way we clamor for food and nutrition security.
Eteama maintained that the new pharmaceutical industries should be granted long period of tax holidays and fiscal policy protection measure for survival and growth. Industrial Estates with adequate infrastructure and utility logistics should be owned and managed by Organized Private Sector (OPS) Bodies/Association but funded with Trust funds, credits, grants, donations from Entrepreneurs, Industries & Businesses, Governments, Development Partners and other stakeholders.
“To attain global competitiveness in manufacturing pharmaceutical products for international and local markets, the tools of conformity assessment used by in-country regulators should be subject to third party world class conformity assessment body recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and or other United Nations Organization (UNO) Body with Mandate in standardization, metrology and conformity assessment. Hence, certification and accreditation of systems, processes and products issued to medicines/vaccines for use by people and animals would command integrity, respect and confidence”, he opined.
Speaking further on Human Resource Development, he said, “Human capital requirement in the health industrial sector, especially for production of medicine/vaccines is unique; experts are scarce relative to their demand; and need for regular skill enhancement training is vital. The Labour force in this sector require adequate remuneration, moral upliftment and ample motivation”.
So also there should be regular exchange of professionals between industry and tertiary academic institutions.
On Infrastructure Development, the speaker pointed out that Nigerian industrial development and attainment of enhanced global competitiveness ranking will be constrained due to high levels of infrastructure deficit and inadequacies. Power supply shortage is a major constraint factor coupled with poor rail, air, road, communication networks. Problem of water supply shortage, inefficient ports services lead to high cost of production and inability of our industries to compete in the global market.
Research and Development, R&D, “Emphasis should focus more on need-based, problem-solving and Demand-driven R&D policy, programmes and Projects. There should be a new paradigm that de-emphasis R&D for certificates, promotion and self-aggrandizement”, he noted.
“Research and Development for production of vaccines and medicines should consider strategic partnership arrangements with key universities, Nigerian diaspora scientists and experts. Research and Development for manufacturing of medicines/vaccines should focus on local sources of raw materials from local medicinal herbs, soils, seeds, roots etc. Traditional technologies and systems of medicine development should be enhanced and modernized with necessary, STI enable R&D in all stages of the value-chain”, he added.
Speaking further on Industries and Business Development, he said “Over one hundred manufacturers of pharmaceutical products in Nigeria should be encouraged with ample incentives to source most inputs from improved local producers and when necessary, support import of essential inputs. Local capacity enhancement should be a deliberate policy of government in promoting attractive level of credit to industries, favourable tariff regime and recognition of performing scientists, institutions and businesses for reward”.
Our Regulatory Frameworks according to him should emphasis conformity to standards in all aspects of the National Quality Infrastructure, NQI, associated with medicine/vaccine product development, manufacturing and marketing. While conducting conformity assessment exercises, regulatory establishments should be mindful of the need to strike delicate balance between business survival tendencies (profitability, production, markets, and societal concerns (safety, hazard, risk).
On Repositioning and strengthening the Pharmaceutical Industry Ecosystem: Repositioning and strengthening the pharmaceutical Industry ecosystem in general and specifically the Tertiary Academic/R&D Institutions, Government Regulatory bodies & Development Partners. This he said is being done through, adoption of Appropriate Strategic Elements and Factors for Production of Result-based Management Logical Framework, RMLF, paradigm shift from R&D and inventions for promotion, and acquisition of certificates to R&D and innovation that is industry and services demand-driven, problem-solving, and need-based and breaking the jinx on commercialization of R&D breaking and funds by RMRDC establishment and development of pilot plants in key areas of raw materials and products
Mitigation Measures and Prospects, All over the world, according to him nations strive towards the zenith of industrialization for sustainable development and growth by leveraging on local sourcing of raw materials for powering their industrial activities in a manner that reduces their needs of foreign raw materials
Industrialization: We need to support, encourage and stimulate the following which he listed to include, laying emphasis on indigenous industrialization whereby industries and businesses are in strategic alliances with the academia and R&D institutes, leveraging the power of STI for value-addition in raw materials development, supply and utilization for domestic and global markets.
Redirecting and focus on the new paradigm of R&D that industry and services demand-driven, need-based and problem-solving as distinct from R&D that are majorly for teaching, learning and promotion.
“Another macroeconomic aggregate that justifies the wake-up call for the enhancement of the local sourcing of raw materials is foreign trade statistics. Our over-dependence on import goes a long way to confirm the poor industrial and manufacturing base of our economy and the reason why we need to improve domestic or local capacity for enhancing industrial sector. This unacceptable situation must be of interest to the government especially the major stakeholders in the STI ecosystem to rise to this challenge and find lasting solutions. As a nation with abundant natural endowment, we are well placed to exploit/explore our abundant resources for orderly and sustainable industrialization that is driven by the manufacturing sector. Desirable sustainable advancement in manufacturing as envisaged for national development is expected to source essential raw materials”, he stated.
Monitoring and Evaluation in the pharma ecosystem goes to include performance measurement, monitoring compliance, evaluating conformance and reporting as feedback for prompt action.