FG Loans N100bn To Pharma Manufacturers

President Muhammadu Buhari said a total of N100 billion has been given out to indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare investors.

Buhari made the announcement on Tuesday in Abuja while hosting the new Executive Members of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

In a statement signed by the presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina, the loan was disbursed to enhance their capital base and boost local production of medicines and medical consumables.

The President also clarified that the loan was extended through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s aid to the private pharmaceutical sector.

The Health Sector Reform Committee chaired by Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is presently exploring models for revitalizing the nation’s healthcare system, in ways that improve quality of care and the benefit package to care providers, Buhari added.

Speaking on brain drain in the health sector, the President said he has directed the Honourable Minister of Health to look into ways of turning “brain drain” to “brain gain” by committing top Nigerian medical experts in the diaspora in knowledge and skills repatriation.

He encouraged the Association and other stakeholders in the health sector to endorse initiatives by the Federal Government and work with the Committees set up to chart a fast track to a health system that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st Century.

Furthermore, the President also applauded the Association, which is the umbrella body of all Medical Practitioners in Nigeria, for unfailingly choosing peaceful resolution of differences on matters pertinent to the National health system.

‘‘I commend our medical professionals for their contribution to Nigeria’s exemplary management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the control of malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, and other feats also achieved by Nigerian doctors in the diaspora.

‘‘Our response to COVID-19 pandemic has been praised internationally and your members are key parts of this success.

‘‘I recall that in the last quarter of 2021,the immediate past NMA Executives visited me and presented recommendations for the health sector, which included, the review and amendment of NHIS Act; upgrading and equipping existing health institutions; loans to fund hospital equipment; the repeal and re-enactment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act; and Appeal for more funding for the four (4) newly established Universities of Medical Sciences.

‘‘I am pleased to inform you that most of these recommendations have been addressed, whilst further action is being taken to study those involving cross-cutting administrative processes with legal implications.’’ the statement added.

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