Nigeria has a vibrant and rapidly growing pharmaceutical market, and is the largest producer of formulation products among the Central and West African countries.
Nigeria is having the largest number of pharma manufacturing units among the entire West African region, and the industry is meeting the 13 per cent growth per annum. Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) is the apex body representing the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry. It presently has more than 120 local pharma manufacturing member companies amongst which nine are quoted in the Nigeria Stock Exchange. PMG-MAN contributes to the National Domestic Product, to the excess of N300 billion, paying taxes and other tariffs and employing directly and indirectly over two million Nigerians.
On August 28 and 29, 2019, the 5th Edition of Nigerian Pharma Manufacturers Expo 2019 holds at the Haven, Oba Akinjiobi Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Exhibition theme for this edition is tagged “Strategic Collaboration for Medicine Security, Affordability and National Sufficiency”.
It promises to attract hundreds of both indigenous and foreign companies operating in the Nigeria’s pharma landscape.
One of the major challenges this forum should address is the distribution of pharmaceutical products from the manufacturing companies to the market. This is one of the factors hindering access to quality medicines and the continuous proliferation of fake drugs in the market.
While working as a Sales manager in Kano with one of the top pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, I had a territorial coverage of Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Borno, Adamawa,Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi States to coordinate sales for the company. One of the major challenges we had as a company was logistics- getting our products from the manufacturing plant in Lagos to our Kano depot. I remembered an incident when I had to wait for some customers orders for two weeks due to a failure from our transporter. You could imagine the pressure of assuaging the customers whose goods were in that truck.
The transporters will always come up with numerous excuses for delaying your goods:
- Break down of their truck on the road
- Problem with Police and other law enforcement agencies
- Traffic Congestion on the road
- Bad Road, etc
From my experiences in the field as a Sales Manager, I make a case here for the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Nigeria under PMG-MAN to collaborate with the logistic aggregator category-king Kobo360 to address their logistics challenges.
Kobo360 aggregates trucks to meet the logistics challenges of their customers. Brands already with Kobo360 include: Honeywell, Sifax Group, Dangote, Olam, DHL, BUA Group, Emel, Sinoma, Lafarge, Chisco, UPS, FMN,etc. Kobo360 has been able to aggregate a fleet of over 10,000 drivers and trucks on its platform.
Kobo360 promises you Technology, Visibility, Transparency, Digital and Insurance.
On the Kobo360 platform, you can view real-time the location of trucks on the platform and receive regular updates via email or sms. Kobo360’s tracking incorporates GPS, Geo-Location via its transporter app and regular checkpoints.
You can see real-time market rate on your lanes up to two weeks in advance. If you find a rate you like, you can lock it by creating the shipment online.
All Kobo360 trips are insured to cover your goods from loading to unloading points.
Kobo360 has continued to reposition itself to meet the ever growing logistic challenges in Africa. Recently, it raised a $20 million Series A equity led by Goldman Sachs and an additional $10 million in local currency working capital from Nigerian commercial banks. It also plans to enter 10 new countries by the end of 2020 beyond its footprint in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.
Now that Nigeria has finally signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA), I enjoin the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(PMG-MAN) and the West Africa Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (WAPMA) to leverage the Kobo360 platform to access the bigger Central and West African market while targeting the entire African market. Already, we have pharmaceutical traders within the Central and West African countries coming into open drug markets of Idumota (Lagos), Head-Bridge (Onitsha), Ariaria(Aba) and Sabon-Gari(Kano) to meet their pharmaceutical needs. This is a big untapped market for Nigerian pharmaceutical companies but they require an established logistic platform such as Kobo360 to easily convey their goods to such markets.
As the 5th Edition of the Nigerian Pharma Manufacturers Expo 2019 takes center stage in a few days here in Lagos, I wish all the participants a great event.
Agu Vincent is a Sales/Marketing Coordinator with Chelis Bookazine Limited, Nigeria’s leading educational supplier. He has over 12 years Sales experience selling pharmaceutical and educational products and services. He can be reached on 08037614960 or [email protected].