Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasai have listed the long term benefits the pharmaceutical sector will gain from the Pakistan and Nigeria bilateral relations.
Speaking at the commencement of the 2nd Pakistan-Nigeria Trade Development Conference, held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, they both insisted that both countries stand to benefit hugely from the trade relations.
In his opening remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu described the conference as an occasion for both Pakistan and Nigeria to explore important trade and manufacturing prospects for the development of their respective industries.
Sanwo-Olu, who cited Lagos as one of the biggest business hubs on the African continent, said the city has a number of advantages due to its central location in the West African sub-region.
He said: “ We welcome you to the Center of Excellence. We welcome you to the commercial nerve centre of the country. We welcome you to the city that has the largest black population in the world.
“We welcome you to a state that, if it were a nation, would be the 4th or 5th largest GDP in Africa. We welcome you to a state that has a GDP that is bigger than Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, put together.”
Former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasai, said that Nigeria has a lot to learn from Pakistan in terms of improving its local manufacturing capacity to meet the standards set by the scientific community.
He believes that Pakistan, as a key player in the global pharmaceutical industry, will positively impact Nigeria through technology transfer and facility upgrades, as well as increasing local production.
“What I see is a situation where we are going to have a lot of joint ventures between our local manufacturers and the already existing manufacturers in Pakistan, who are also ready to support us. I can see so many big companies from Pakistan.
“Apart from pharmaceutical companies, they have over 200 companies. And you know their FDA don’t joke with quality. This is why I have been with them for the past 22 years.
“They even awarded me the title of Honourary Consular-General because of the role I have played over the years in bringing them into the Nigerian pharmaceutical market to do mutually beneficial business.
“I believe the Nigerian pharmaceutical landscape will come out better and stronger with such bilateral relationships”, he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Bloom Public Health, Professor Chimezie Anyakora whose company is building a reputation as one of the most credible technical partners to health-related innovations within and outside Nigeria, stated that the conference was a win-win and will benefit the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry greatly.
According to him, the organisers of the conference did a great job providing the opportunity for Nigerians to learn how to be global players while also urging the federal government to create opportunities that will allow Nigerian businesses to compete with their counterparts from the developed world.
“Pakistan is currently ahead of us in terms of pharmaceutical manufacturing. They do vaccines; they do APIs and a whole lot of things. This partnership will help Nigeria leapfrog into playing at that level. As a matter of fact, Bloom Public Health is engaged by the Pakistani High Commission to facilitate the process and make it mutually beneficial”, he said.
The event is expected to feature exhibitions, presentations and other important trade activities by many Pakistani and Nigerian companies through Thursday, November 25.