Pharmaceutical companies that benefitted from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N100 billion intervention funds in the health sector are battling with dollar scarcity which makes it difficult to uttilise the funds to import the needed equipment to increase production.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, laments that beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s 100 billion intervention fund for the health sector have not been able properly utilize it due to Foreign exchange related problems.
Disclosing this today, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, said that the group has already written to the apex bank asking for special foreign exchange allocation for the beneficiary companies.
Ohuabunwa disclosed this during the 𝗩𝗶𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗙𝗼𝗿𝘂𝗺 organized by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, FICAN.
Recall that in response to the Coronavirus pandemic early this year, the CBN had provided an N100 billion fund to support intervention efforts geared towards the health sector.
Ohuabunwa however said that the society have received feedbacks from practioners who have accessed the funds which indicate they are facing challenges in utilizing these funds. The major threat to the proper utilization of the funds, has stated by Ohuabunwa, are inflation and depreciation of naira.
To further back up his point, the PSN President stated that the loan couldn’t be converted to profits as beneficiaries can’t purchase raw materials to produce the much needed finished products. “People that have gotten the loans are having difficulties using them to purchase raw materials and to finance their business due to foreign exchange scarcity”, Ohuabunwa said.
In response to a question on steps taken by the society, Ohuabunwa explained that PSN is in constants discussion with the CBN. ‘”They told me through a call that they are doing all they can to work on the issue”
Commending the efforts of the government, he noted that the intervention fund was a great response to the pandemic by the government.
Ohuabunwa, who is also a past Chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group, however, appealed to the CBN to provide a special application process for those who are facing the issue.