‘Import Duties Waiver For Pharmaceuticals To Improve Healthcare Access’

The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) said the executive order removing import duties , VAT, excise duty on pharmaceutical raw materials, intermediate products, medical diagnostic equipment and machinery would boost domestic production of the products, reduce the cost of medications and improve access to healthcare.

The director/CEO of CPPE, Muda Yusuf stated this in a statement sent to LEADERSHIP.

According to Yusuf, this would also revitalise our pharmaceutical industries and create more jobs.

“Fiscal policy measures have much better prospects of addressing supply side challenges in the economy, if well targeted.

“Boosting production is very vital to fixing the current inflationary pressures, driven largely by supply side challenges in the economy. Fiscal policy measures are potent tools for the realisation of this objective.”

He recommended that these fiscal policy measures should be replicated to boost production in other segments of the real sector.

Yusuf added that “we also need fiscal policy protection to support domestic investments in petroleum refineries to conserve foreign exchange, create jobs, and deepen backward integration.

“There is a groundswell of economic nationalism globally and we should respond by strengthening our domestic production capabilities across all sectors.

“Fiscal policy measures have proven to be more impactful on real sector performance than monetary policy. The real sector of the economy deserves to be effectively protected and incentivised to improve production and ensure sustainability investments in that space.”

He pointed out that the Nigeria economy cannot afford to submit to a regime of complete trade liberalisation in the light of the challenges faced by domestic manufacturers, saying “we need to stem the tide of deindustrialization of the Nigerian economy, the exit of foreign direct investors and the rising mortality rate of domestic industries.

“We believe that stepping up fiscal policy interventions would facilitate the realisation of this objective. But we must be ready to trade off some revenue in the short term.

“The economy would be better off in the medium to long term, with regard to growth in domestic production, less import dependence, heightened prospects of disinflation, higher job creation and better economic resilience.”

CPPE CEO also said, “the CPPE commends the CBN for scrapping its Price Verification System Portal which was a needless duplication of the functions of the Nigeria Customs Service, and a product of a dysfunctional foreign exchange regime.

“We urge the CBN to sustain its engagement with the private sector for quality, evidence-based feedback on monetary policy outcomes.”

He also noted that, in the spirit of the economic transformation programmes of the current administration, it is imperative to ensure effective implementation of Executive order 003 which prescribes that preferences must be given to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in the public procurement of goods and services by the MDAs.

He appealed to the presidency to ensure compliance by the MDAs with these executive orders in the spirit of current efforts to boost domestic production, grow domestic talents and reform the economy.

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