Why we chose Akwa Ibom for N9b Africa’s largest syringe factory, by foreign investors

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Africa’s largest syringe manufacturing company, Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company Limited (JSM), is set for inauguration in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Foreign investors committed $30 million (about N9.2 billion) to the factory located on four hectares of land in Awa Village.

Upon opening next month, JSM plans to start production with initial capacity of 350 million units with a target to double this to 700 million units in the first year of operation and one billion units in the second year of operation.

Speaking during a tour of the factory, its Managing Director,  Zubeyir Gulabi, said the company will achieve initial yearly revenue target of $15 million and its ultimate goal is not only to make Nigeria self- sufficient in syringe production, but also a net exporter of syringe and other medical devices to other countries.

Gulabi said the foreign investors decided to locate the syringe factory in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State, particularly because of the enormous potential of the economy with its huge market and the investment friendly policies of the government.

According to him, Nigeria as the sixth most populous country in the world needs a syringe factory that can serve its domestic medical needs and help to conserve its foreign exchange in addition to helping the economy to grow by creating employment and additional source of reign exchange earnings.

“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,” Gulabi, a Turkish said.

He outlined 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 by the second year of operations.

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.

“Nigerian Local Content Act says 70 per cent Nigerian, meaning 30 per cent expatriates. But my board of directors’ decision is this: 10 per cent expatriates maximum, 90 per cent Nigerians. Out of this 90 per cent, minimum of 50 per cent will go to the immediate community where the company is located, 20 per cent will go to non-community members of Akwa Ibom state while the remaining 20 per cent will go to non-Akwa-Ibom Nigerians,” Gulabi said.

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 national interest. Nigeria is the main market and West Africa countries are the secondary market,” Gulabi, a Turkish, said.

He pointed out that contrary to negative impression about the security situation within the country, the company has enjoyed immense support from the hosting community, assuring that the company will reciprocate by contributing to the development of the community.

“We are in the oil community. The clan is very peaceful; all the clan has four neighbouring villages. This is their own factory; they see it like their own. We can go to the village alone anytime without security. We are much secured. On our contributions to the community, we should talk about this one after three years. Go and get a good picture of the villages now, after three years, I don’t think you will be able to recognise the villages. You will see these villages on cable television as the hub of medical devices,” Gulabi said.

Culled from here

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