India to open warehouse in Nigeria for medicine export


By Francis Kokutse

In what is expected to give a major boost to the presence of Indian pharmaceutical companies in Africa, a new warehousing facility will be opened in Nigeria for exporting medicines from India to that West African country.

The Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), in accociation with with Sankil Pharmaceutical, a local pharmacutical business agency in Nigeria, will open the new warehouse, according to statement issued by Pharmexcil.

Raghuvir Kini, executive director of Pharmexcil, Raghuveer Kini said in the statement that about about 40 Indian pharmaceutical companies have shown interest in utilising the warehousing facility in Nigeria which is expected to start operations within the next two to three months.

At a council meeting in Mumbai in February, Kini said that Sankil Pharma, which has its presence in Nigeria for the past 22 years, "will help assist Pharmexcil to establish the warehousing facility in the country".

"This company (Sankil Pharma) also has vast experience of working with Indian pharma players who are members of the Pharmaceutical Promotion Council of India," Kini said.

He said, the proposed premises where the warehousing facility will be set up has already been approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria and it is well suited for storing active pharmaceutical ingredients or APIs and chemicals.

"The council is also expecting similar approval from NAFDAC to even store the pharmaceutical formulations or any other pharma-related material at the facility," Kini said.

He said that under its Marker Access Initiative (MAI) scheme, the government of India was also willing to give financial assistance to Indian pharmaceutical companies willing to take storage space at the facility.

"Under this scheme, the rentals for each company will cost less than 50 percent than the market rate," he said

Sankil Pharma will act as a custodian of the goods stored in the warehousing facility. The company will assist the members in all aspects and will arrange for releasing the consignments from customs, store in the warehouse, and dispatch to customers according to instructions of the companies using the facility.

Additional facilities like cold storage and extra space will be taken care of by Sankil Pharma and the company will also assist the members in getting their products registered with NAFDAC, if required.

In order to assure Indian exporters, officials of Sankil Pharma have given the assurance that "the situation in Nigeria has improved a lot compared to 15-20 years back and there is no need to worry about robberies/thefts etc".

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