Regulators Response to Business Continuity (Health & Pharmaceuticals Sector)

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect the world and global economy particularly the health sector. All over the world, nations are beginning to strengthen their health sector in a bid to protect their populace, curb the spread of the coronavirus as well as establish strong and formidable health industries to deal with current and future health hazards.

In this regard, Nigeria is not lagging behind. The country has set in motion policies, measures and interventions required to develop its health sector. In the word of the current Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin I. Emefiele CON, “…We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare, and cutting-edge education for our people. For a country of over 200 million people and projected to be about 450 million in a few decades, we can no longer ignore repeated warnings about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally. The security and wellbeing of our nation is contingent on building a well-diversified and inclusive productive economy…”

This newsletter appreciates the interventions provided by the Federal Government of Nigeria in a bid to strengthen the health industry of the country. We shall consider below the measures put in place by health-related ministries, departments and agencies of the Government and the opportunities available for businesses in the health and pharmaceutical sector.

A. The Central Bank of Nigeria’s N100 Billion Health Industry Intervention Fund
The Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) has announced a N100 Billion credit support intervention fund for the Health and Pharmaceutical Industry in Nigeria. This Fund was created by the apex Bank to bridge the financial and infrastructural gap in the industry as well as improve the technical capacity of the industry to meet the increase in demand for healthcare services in the country. The CBN will be providing this targeted intervention as structured loans or facilities to pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, health logistics and distribution companies as well as hospitals and healthcare practitioners, who intend to expand their drug manufacturing plant capacities in Nigeria and upscale the provision of health services in Nigeria accordingly.

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