By anyaora thelma
As an answer to Nigeria’s call for increased direct foreign investment in the country as a way of not only attracting foreign exchange to cushion the effect of the present recession witnessed in the country, but also create jobs across the various job cadres, Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company will in August this year commence full production of syringes in the country.
Located on an 8000 square meter of land area in Onna local government of Akwa Ibom State, Jubilee Syringe which will be the first syringe manufacturing company in Nigeria, second only to South Africa in the whole of Africa, intends to kick off with a start up production capacity of between 350 to 400 million syringes annually, with provision for expanding its production capacity to 1billion syringes by 2018.
This estimated 350 – 400 million production lines Jubilee Syringe intend to start-up with in Nigeria, far overshoots that of South Africa, as the South African Company has a production capacity of only 93 million, making Jubilee Syringe, of course, upon completion and commencement of operations the largest syringe production company in the entire African continent.
According to Mr. Kumral, even though the company is in Nigeria to make profit, its primary aim is not only to create jobs, but also to help in stabilising the nation’s economy and add value to Nigerians through training and retraining. Of course, his promise of adding value to Nigerians was realised when Jubilee Syringe recently sent 12 Nigerians to Istanbul, Turkey, for advance training on key areas of Injection Machines. These 12 Nigerians were trained on the operation of Injection Moulding Machines, Maintenance of Moulds and Quality Control.
“If you are losing your dollars, you arrest the situation by simply stopping importations. And this arrest is possible only when you start producing and manufacturing inside your country. If you manufacture, you save huge dollars and use it for something else,” he advised.
Mr. Zubeyir Gulabi, who will run the daily management of Jubilee Syringe upon commencement of operations as the company’s managing director, said while receiving the 12 Nigerians who returned from Turkey, that they are the future of industrialisation in the state and the nation. He observed that there are plans by Jubilee Syringe to send more Nigerians for training especially in the area of safety, packaging and printing.
Speaking with journalists on the plans the company has and the reason for coming to Nigeria, Mr. Kumral said they are impressed with the efforts of the governments at various level to encourage foreign investors and they believe that if they take the bold step and come into the country it will also encourage others to do the same.
He said their decision to berth in Akwa Ibom was borne out of their understanding of the track records of the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, who they have known over the years with huge experience in the financial institution for quite a long time with great reputation.
“He gave us the assurance that Nigeria is the right market for such huge investment. His support has been quite tremendous and we are quite encouraged by this. We assured him that with such support from his government, we were ready to swing into action in the state. There is great potential in Africa.
At every point or opportunity, Kumral has never failed to remind whoever cares to listen that Africa provides one of the highest returns on investment, ROI, in the world for discerning investors who can take a calculated risks. Those who know him quite well or perhaps have worked closely with him can attest to his strong belief that nothing is impossible. And the Chairman of Jubilee Syringe has constantly demonstrated this conviction by taking very bold, courageous, but calculated investment risks most of which have paid off handsomely.
Having already established business firms in some parts of the continent, notably; Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Libya and Morocco, Kumral thinks that development is coming far too late in Nigeria; His words: “What we are trying to put on ground in Nigeria is what should have been done years back if the political will was there. Establishing a syringe factory in Nigeria is definitely not something we should be celebrating at this time and age. The market is here. There is the potential for four billion syringes to be sold in this country.”
He added, however, that though the Akwa Ibom government has given them the needed encouragement, it ends at that, as the company is a hundred per cent privately driven initiative and investment. “But to attract investors to your country, you must encourage them; investors need encouragement. This is what Akwa Ibom State government has provided us, and this explains why we have come to Akwa Ibom State to invest.
“Apart from the encouragement by the government, the state is the safest place in the country in terms of security. And of course, you know that no investor would risk investing in an unsafe environment. In Akwa Ibom, we are quite safe and our investment is safe.”
Regarding the standard of the Syringe factory, the Chairman of Jubilee Syringe Mr. Onur kumral had this to say; “Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company is a Turkish company with a great reputation and cannot possibly go beyond its standard. The technology we are bringing for the purpose of establishing this factory is the best and the latest anywhere in the world. We will be producing using European standards, and the product will be affordable for all Africans, especially, Nigerians.
“Those in the business of medicine will be quite happy about this development. Towards the end of this year, you will see huge traffic in the state because of this factory. Akwa Ibom State is going to be the hub of medical equipment in Africa, not just West Africa. The distributors are all happy and impressed.”
These were the reactions of some major Pharmaceutical distributors in the country regarding the coming in of Jubilee Syringe.
Mr. Kevin, a pharmacist with Pharmablaze pharmaceutical Company based in Nigeria had this to say: “The coming in of Jubilee Syringe factory in Akwa Ibom is a dream come true, with respect to job creation and medical tourism in Nigeria. We in the business of medicine are quite happy because in the area of profits and risk of importation, we can say this is a major breakthrough. We can now stroll to our backdoor and buy with our own currency what we were spending huge foreign currency to import. This shows that Akwa Ibom and indeed Nigeria will become the major hub for medical facility. Don’t forget, we have the Ibom Multi-Specialist Hospital, the best hospital in Sub-Sahara Africa still in Akwa Ibom which will complement this Syringe company. We are saying many thanks to Mr. Kumral the investor, his team and Akwa Ibom State government.”
For his part, Pharm. Sylvester, who works with Veclem Pharmaceutical Company believes that Jubilee Syringe is coming into the country at the right time, as a result of the economic crunch in the country. “This is the best news that is emanating from this part of the continent for years now. This country has not really fared well in terms of establishing manufacturing companies. We import everything in Nigeria. This is sad. The leadership of this country are not doing enough in attracting industries to the country so as to create employment and also reduce huge spending as a result of importation. So establishing a Syringe company here in Akwa Ibom is a welcome development. This is what the governor promised to bring to his people; industrialization. When the company commences full production, we in the business of medicine will be in for a great time and more Nigerians would be gainfully employed.”
“We are looking at a production capacity of 350 – 400 million pieces of syringe per year for now. This factory is conceived and built with the full option of expansion because of the growing population of Nigeria and of course, Africa. The present population of Nigeria needs about 4 billion syringes per year. With this, you can imagine how much you spend importing these products outside. It is our belief that when we start production by August as we intend to, by next years, we would be able to triple our production capacity to a billion syringes annually”, Kumral said.
“This factory is 100% private investment. The only support we got from Akwa Ibom State government is in the area of good government and economic policies, land used for the factory and of course, the security of our investment. Like I have always said, establishing this factory here is not the end of the story, it is the start of the story. It is not just bringing in the syringe factory alone; we intend to bring more investments into the country. Our confidence is in Governor Udom Emmanuel and we are very attracted to his vision.”
Industrialization is a precursor to development. No country can be said to be a truly developed nation if its policy on industrialization is not firm and realizable. The coming of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company is a step in the right direction in the all important need of industrialization for the creation of employment opportunities and ultimately, wealth for the people of Nigeria. Change can therefore not be said to have arrived Nigeria if the sounds of industrial machines are not heard to be humming. Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company has set out to be the harbinger of the change Nigerians have been craving for over the years, as its coming brims with fresh for the people of Nigeria.
– Hon. Othman, writes from Gangare, Jos North, Plateau State.