•Key stakeholders laud the Okey Akpa-led group
Recently the 4th international Exhibition on Complete Pharma Manufacturing, as well as Lab Expo took place in Lagos. It was an interesting turnout of participants from mainly India, China, Nigeria, Japan, Ireland and Bangladesh, etc. The three day event was put together under the auspices of the collaborative efforts of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) and GPE EXPO PVT. Ltd.
Heralding the opening of the exhibition, Pharm. Ahmed I. Yakasai, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) extolled the active contributions, and the critical role played by PMG-MAN in the actual development of the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria and by extension, overall development of the country.
The PMG-MAN 2017 Pharma Expo also rode on a very apt theme for the events – “Increasing access to healthcare in Nigeria: Strategic Partnerships to achieve Medicines’ Security and National Self Sufficiency”, which Yakasai noted resonates with the current mood and needs of the nation.
The theme also aligns with the spirit of the forthcoming (November 2017) 90th Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) – bearing the theme “Medicines Availability and National Security”, Yakasai said, while stressing the need for continued collaborations among all key stakeholders in the health care sector. The PSN President said this is the only way in which the focus highlighted in this year’s Expo can be achieved.
This year’s Expo, featuring about 116 exhibiting companies was an impressive gathering of proven players in pharmaceutical and allied equipment manufacturing. Generally, visitors to the events agreed that the equipment on display were the industrialists’ delight – in ensuring international best practice in pharmaceutical manufacturing and processing.
A remarkable impression gathered from the outing is the fact that India’s pharma manufacturing, and engineering capabilities have progressed rapidly over the recent decades to the amazement of technology watchers. China also, which is already acknowledged as an industrial giant, has shown that it is a force that is out to dominate in the very near future.
A whole variety of pharma equipment sprawling the exhibition pavilion ranged from Professional Packing machines for a whole range of solutions including cosmetics, foods, and pharmaceutical products. Others included – Liquid Packing Technologies; Engineering services and equipments for Water and Waste Treatment; BLC Series Coating Machines; Automatic Rotary Filling-Capping Machines; Airy Filtration equipments; Injectable, Granulation, Ointment and liquid Oral manufacturing Plants; and Packaging machines.
Also available to prospective investors included high-speed precision equipment in – Tablet Presses and Whole-Set Equipment Production Lines; Tablet/Capsule Filling Lines; Blister Packing Machines as well as Automatic Cartoning machines, etc. Yet, industry experts say a lot more is expected from these, and even indigenous engineering concerns in order to fully satisfy the growing need for world class pharmaceutical manufacture, and equipment production.
The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria is the Umbrella Organisation for Manufacturers of Pharmaceuticals and allied products in Nigeria. It is an arm of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), inaugurated in 1983, and launched by the then Federal Minister of Health on the 24th October, 1984 with just twenty (20) foundation members.
Mr. Okey Akpa who is currently the Chairman of PMG-MAN is also the Managing Director of one of Nigeria’s foremost indigenous pharmaceutical companies – SKG Pharma Ltd. In the years gone by Nigeria has hosted three international editions of the Pharma Expo, with the recently concluded one in Lagos being the fourth in the series.
The Expositions of the capabilities and activities of both Nigerian-based, and foreign pharmaceutical processing, as well equipment engineering in Nigeria obviously go a long way to opening doors of opportunities, and Nigeria must not fail to harness the great advantages it stands to gain. It is on record that Nigeria is one of the most promising and rapidly growing pharmaceutical markets in West Africa – with more than 120 pharma formulation manufacturing facilities, and a growth rate of 12% annually.
By the uncommon leadership quality and actions of PMG-MAN, Nigeria is at a vantage position to explore the untapped potentials of Central & West African Pharma Markets. The entire region remains her oyster! The market is huge and the Okey Akpa-led PMG-MAN is already steering in the course of a right direction. With about 60 per cent of drug manufacturing in the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) sub-region taking place in Nigeria, it goes to underscore the huge sub regional market at the nation’s disposal.
With the just concluded expo and similar activities, coupled with the 2009 WHO collaboration with NAFDAC – leading to the development of Nigerian Good Manufacturing Practices (NGMP), it behoves the PMG-MAN and the entire key stakeholders in the pharmaceutical/health care industries to fully harness the advantages therein.
While the PMG-MAN is being congratulated for making giant strides, it must not be lost on them to fully harness the gains and advantages of the Pharma Expo experience – in appropriately applying the principles learned. This will lead to enhancing local technology, as well as manufacturing standards, and buoying up quality of locally produced medicines especially as we have been able to learn from the Indian and China experiences.
By Morgan Nwanguma