By Goddy Egene
Investor confidence in the Nigerian economy is rising as Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company Limited (JSM) is getting set for production in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Foreign investors have staked an initial amount of about $30 million (about N9.2 billion) in the factory that is located on four hectares of land in Awa Village. According to the Managing Director of JSM, Mr. Zubeyir Gulabi, the company will be the largest syringe manufacturer in Africa, saying the JSM will not only make Nigeria self-sufficient in syringe production but also a net exporter.
Gulabi said upon inauguration this month, will start production with initial capacity of 350 million units with a target to double this to 700 million units within the first year of operation.
Speaking on the choice of Akwa Ibom, the JSM boss said the investment friendly policies of the Akwa Ibom State government and the enormous potential of the Nigerian economy with its huge market informed the decision to locate the company in the state,
“You know that investment and money are like a fly that can easily run but Akwa Ibom investment policy convinced my investors to come here. The main attraction is the policy making. The federal government is also helping fully by providing what we are asking for the sector. Nigeria has an important future; that is what we believe. This factory is not for the next two to three years, it is for the next 50 years and beyond,” he said.
Gulabi, who is a Turkish explained that the company has been designed for scalable expansion and diversification of its products, noting that while it will concentrate on the production of the main product-Syringe in the meantime, the company could end up with about 20 products going forward,
He pointed out that the factory was built on principles of local contents policy of the government with two-thirds of the raw materials available in Nigeria and Nigerian and Akwa Ibom indigenes expected to form 90 per cent of the employees.
He said that while the company has devised its own marketing strategy as a private business, it hopes to benefit from the friendly policies of the government, including the executive order that prioritises purchase of made-in-Nigeria products by government institutions.
“We have known Nigeria for a long time. Nigeria needs this product, this product is a very strategic product for Nigerian national interest. Nigeria is the main market and West Africa countries are the secondary market,” he said.