What has Bayer brought to the market since re-entering Nigeria?
We are active in the pharmaceuticals, consumer health, and crop protection space. As a global enterprise with core competencies in the life sciences field of healthcare and nutrition, our products are designed to benefit people by supporting them to overcome the major challenges the world is facing. We are committed to sustainable development, and our brand stands for trust, reliability, and quality throughout the world. In Nigeria, Bayer is committed to enhancing the quality of life and contributes to the economic development of Nigerian society. Through our innovations, we focus our efforts on areas where our business has the greatest impact and where our efforts can have the greatest benefit and sustainability. Innovation is the driving force in our company alongside the sustainable alignment of our business.
What services do you provide in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture?
In the crops area, we offer services to farmers by providing products such as insecticides and pesticides overall to ensure the farmers get the best benefits from their work. In Nigeria, we are also focusing on a program for small farmer owners, advising them and ensuring they earn the best agricultural result. In the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare space, we supply medication to patients as well as providing robust training for healthcare professionals.
How strategic is the country within your global portfolio of countries?
We are all over the world, but Africa is becoming increasingly strategic for us, as it is one of the few areas where we can still grow and have many things to achieve. Africa is seen as the next frontier for growth and has taken centerstage in the investment agenda. As Nigeria is the largest country population wise, we are indeed interested in developing our operations here. We have an ambitious target for ourselves and are working on various projects. One of them is localizing manufacturing, and we are also targeting aggressive plans to make our products available and accessible to the entire country. We want a world where everyone can share in medical progress and live healthier and better lives. We do not want to see a world where someone has to make a choice between food and medicines. This is how we see our activities everywhere.
What challenges does Bayer face operating in Nigeria?
One of the main challenges of doing business in Nigeria is the size of the country, which is an opportunity for sure, though it also means that some goods and services are unavailable in some areas, as access to all areas is not always same. Security is another challenge, in that we cannot move around as freely as we would like to. We have also structured and formalized competition as well as unstructured competition from the informal sector, bringing in products to the market including counterfeits. That is one of the major challenges in this country.
What progress has been made in the counterfeit drugs issue?
Indirectly, we have been achieving some progress, though it is not at a level that we would like to be. However, the authorities are now encouraging local production. If we have sufficient local production and access to products, even for the less privileged, then there will not be any advantages in seeking counterfeit products.