Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritise allocation of foreign exchange (forex) to beneficiaries of the N100billion intervention fund to procure machinery and raw materials on time.
The society noted that the industry, which depends largely on sourcing raw materials/equipment abroad, is now faced with the challenge of accessing forex, adding that with the reduction in forex complicated by the depreciation of the naira, it would be a more difficult task achieving the set goals in terms of executing the project for which the loan was collected.
President of PSN, Sam Ohuabunwa, who made the appeal, explained that the industry needed to be considered, though forex issue has improved, so that the beneficial effect of the intervention fund could be realised and repayment made when due, noting that the plea was made to preempt any future problems with prompt servicing of the loans, so that the beneficial effect of the loan can be realised and repayment made. This he said will encourage the CBN to do more for the industry and other sectors of the economy.
Ohuabunwa, who was optimistic that the CBN would accede to the request, lamented that many beneficiaries were experiencing difficulties in accessing forex to pay for the machinery and equipment ordered, noting that most of them have been compelled to source forex from sundry sources at much higher rates than the official CBN rate, whose impact portends grave danger and may undermine the noble objectives.
He explained that the longer it takes to import machines and equipment into the country, the longer it will be for Nigeria to begin to see an enhanced local production and the more difficult it will be for the benefitting companies to begin production and generate cash flow to meet the interest and repayment obligation, as the moratorium is fast depleting.