President Tinubu Grants Special Waivers on Pharmaceuticals, APIs, Excipients, Others

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has signed an Executive Order to boost local production of healthcare products and reduce costs of pharmaceutical products, which hitherto have become inaccessible and unaffordable for most Nigerians.

The provisions of the EO cover healthcare products including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, devices such as needles and syringes, biologicals, and medical textiles, among others.

The new order, according to the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Muhammad Pate, has introduced zero tariffs, excise duties and VAT on specified machinery, equipment and raw materials.

Pharmanewsonline reports that Prof. Pate announced in January that the President was about to sign an EO to reduce production costs and enhance local manufacturers’ competitiveness. However, the beaucratic nature of government had subjected Nigerians to untold hardship for several months before the approval of the order on Saturday.

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Pate said the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, is expected to take the next steps towards codifying the new order.

According to the minister, the provisions of the EO are as follows: “ Zero Tariffs and Excise Duties: Exempting specified pharmaceutical machinery, equipment, goods, and accessories from tariffs and excise duties to reduce production costs and make healthcare products more affordable.

“Special Waivers on Pharmaceutical Inputs: APIs, excipients, and other essential raw materials, including those for Long-lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) and Rapid Diagnostic Kits, will benefit from zero tariffs, excise duties, and VAT, lowering the price of essential medicines and medical supplies.

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“Market Shaping: Establishing framework contracts and volume guarantees to stabilize the local manufacturing market.

“Regulatory Harmonisation and Expedited Approvals: Developing a Harmonized Implementation Framework to guide regulatory agencies in streamlining approval processes.

“ Implementation and Compliance: Agencies like the Nigeria Customs Service, NAFDAC, SON, and FIRS are mandated to ensure swift implementation. The waivers and exemptions are valid for two years from the effective date.”

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