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Nigeria waives import duty on supplies of medical equipment & pharmaceuticals, Indian exporters cheer

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Bringing in cheers to the Indian drug exporters, Nigeria, the fifth largest export destination for the country’s pharmaceuticals by value, has waived off import duty on supplies of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals with effect from May 1, 2020.

Based on the communication from High Commission of India at Nigeria, the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) has stated that the Federal Government through Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) made an announcement about the waiver of import duty for supplies of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals with effect from May 1, 2020, as part of Nigeria's efforts to strengthen health infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Member companies dealing with exports and import of medical equipment and supplies with Nigeria have been informed by Pharmexcil in this regard.

In addition to the import waiver, Nigerian government has also directed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to expedite clearing of all imported healthcare equipment, medical and pharmaceutical supplies at the nation’s ports.

Grappling with a huge burden of communicable diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, Nigeria is one of the most promising and rapidly growing pharmaceutical markets in West Africa. Like the majority of African countries, Nigeria's pharmaceutical market is extremely reliant on importing its medicines. Nigeria's key pharmaceutical import partners include India, China and the US.

India is the sixth largest exporter to Nigeria for pharma machinery sector, covering 10% of the import market of the country. India exported pharmaceuticals over US$ 8.1 million to Nigeria for the year 2018.

Goldstein Market Intelligence analyst forecast the Nigeria pharmaceuticals market size is set to reach US$ 5.3 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 9.1% over the forecast years. The anti-infective therapeutic segment will lead the total pharmaceutical with 45% market share as malaria is responsible for 60% of all outpatient attendance, 30% of all hospital admissions and 300,000 deaths annually, the report said.

Sun Pharma, Cipla, Glenmark, Biocon, and Jubilant Life are some of the key Indian players in Nigerian pharmaceutical market.

Indian drug exporters hailed the Nigerian government’s decision to waive off import duty on imported medical supplies.

“Nigeria is India’s fifth largest importer of the drugs by value. Indian drug exporters will be hugely benefited from exemption of import duty for pharmaceutical supplies in Nigeria. It will further boost India-Nigeria relations,” said Nipun Jain, drug exporter and chairman of Small and Medium Pharma Manufacturers Association (SMPMA).


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