Edo rallies pharmacists to develop pharma park, boost medical tourism

25 Sep 2022

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Caption: L-R: National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), Pharm. Olabode Ogunjemiyo; Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi and Manager, Bank of Industry (BoI), Edo State Office, Mr. Christopher Ehi Omondiagbe, during a plenary session at an event to mark the 2022 Pharmacy Week in Benin City, Edo State.

The Edo State Government has sued for strong collaboration from the stakeholders in the state’s pharmaceutical industry to develop a pharma park to promote manufacturing of drugs and other active pharmaceutical ingredients in the state.

The Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and Ease of Doing Business Secretariat, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, made the call during the opening ceremony of the Pharmacy Week 2022, held in Benin City.

Uwaibi said Edo State intends to develop a pharma park to accommodate clusters of drug manufacturers and producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

According to him, “We want to see drug manufacturing organized into clusters. We want to support pharmaceutical businesses. We want to hear from you and know what works best and how best we can achieve the development of a pharma park in the state.

“What kind of support do you need from the government to enhance the industry and make it more profitable? We want Edo to be a hub for medical tourism. We recently hosted the Turkish Ambassador. The conversation revolved around seeking investment into the health sector. You are the professionals in the field. Let us know how best things can work.”

While addressing issues of double taxation raised by the pharmacists during the plenary, Uwaibi noted that the system is improving as tax harmonization is about 90 percent completed, giving kudos to the Edo State Internally Generated Revenue Service (EIRS) as the lead agency.

The State Manager, Bank of Industry (BoI), Edo State, Mr. Christopher Ehi Omondiagbe applauded the Edo State Government for re-activating its relationship with the BoI and providing the needed support for businesses to access funds that attract interest rate of 5 percent per annum as against the previous 10 percent rate.

He also noted that the state government set up an office for the bank in the Edo Production Center free of charge so as to bring the bank closer to the people, which underscores the seriousness of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to grow the state’s economy.