By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has announced May 2017 as deadline for the completion and commissioning of the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company (Calapharm).
Ayade who made the disclosure while conducting some investors round the facility in Calabar, weekend, stated that “with the coming up of the company, Cross River State will soon become the leading light in drugs production for the South-South region.”
According to him, “the philosophy behind the setting up of this factory was that, with AyadeCare which is the Cross River State HealthCare Insurance Policy aimed at providing cheap and affordable medical support services to our people, it was pertinent that we have uncontrollable quantum of drugs available to us at all times to sustain the program.”
The governor noted that “with a minimum of N1, 000 monthly subscription to our policy, you have free access to medical services even though it has limit and cap. So, there is no way you can sustain all of that if you depend on imported drugs. That was why we started thinking inward to reintegrate major pharmaceutical companies globally as deliberate effort to achieve that and sustain the insurance policy.”
According to the governor, “this is to tell you that in partnership with the world best, you should expect nothing less than the quality, with our feed ingredients coming from India, USA and Pakistan because these are where we find the best in terms of value and quality of all generic drugs.”
Ayade further disclosed that “the factory is designed to meet international best practice and soon, the World Health Organization (WHO) team as well as National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will be in the state to inspect the facility,” which he hinted, “will do close circuit production.”
On the state’s capacity to manage the facility, Governor Ayade said: “We have the capacity to set up the factory but we lack the capacity to sustain it at operational level as a government. So, we must divest and move them to the private sector to manage.
“That is what we are going to articulate in the next couple of days. The divestment will also affect the garment factory.”
Disclosing the huge interest being expressed in the various projects of the state government, Governor Ayade said: “Today we are excited that we have a lot of people and companies who have come in to say, we want to buy off these facilities so that you can recover all your investments,” adding that “my excitement is that even if government succeeds in divesting itself from these companies, we would have been able to employ about 3000 in just the garment factory and that money we will be recouping can now be taken to set up another factory to get more people on board and put more food on the tables of ordinary citizens.”
Speaking on the quality of drugs to be produced, Director of Calabar Pharmaceutical Company (Calapharm) Mr. Farhan Khan disclosed that “this pharmaceutical factory will be producing essential and basic medicines that are in World Health Organization (WHO) list.”
He further disclosed that “we are using the latest, state-of-the-art automated machines which we have already imported and ready for installation for our productions and will like to inform that this factory has the capacity to supply the whole of Nigeria the basic medicine it needs when fully functional.”
On the readiness of the plant to meet the set deadline, Mr. khan said, “Our layout is ready and we are about to get registered by National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other relevant agencies of the federal government and after that, the recruitment of professionals who will man the laboratories will be advertised.”
According to him, “NAFDAC and indeed, the federal government will be happy to have such a huge edifice in a fast developing state like Cross River which he noted has taken an initiative of being an industrialized state.”