GlaxoSmithKline UK forces shutdown of GSK Nigeria

…group calls on regulators to protect Nigerian patients, shareholders

National Movement for the Actualization of Good Governance, NAMAGG, has again called on Nigerian Regulators, Government and the British Government to save Nigerian patients, shareholders and employees of GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, Consumer Nigeria Plc as GSK UK, finalises plan to force the shutdown of GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc.

NAMAGG, in a statement in Benin City, Edo State, by its National President, Mr. Douglas Ogbankwa, on Wednesday, said:

“We can now confirm with gross disquietude that GSK UK has finalised plans to forcibly shut down the GSK Nigeria business in the month of August, lay-off all employees and put shareholders investments at significant risk.

“At a time when the Nigerian Government and regulators are focused on increasing the volume of drugs and vaccines manufactured in Nigeria, GSK UK has gone ahead to force the board of GSK Consumer Nigeria to shut down its operations in Nigeria and move to an importation model like it did in Kenya and other African countries.

“As reported earlier, this decision to force a shutdown was resisted by one of the oldest board members of the of GSK Consumer Nigeria, Mr. Samuel Kuye, who was the lone voice of reason on the GSK UK selected majority board.

“Mr. Kuye has since resigned from the board to maintain his integrity and vision which focuses on local manufacturing and exports from Nigeria and not gross importation of medicines.

READ ALSO:Coalition expresses worries over lack of inclusivity in Ministerial List

“We are further appalled by the process and purpose for which this force shutdown of one of the largest and oldest pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria.

“To achieve this forced shutdown, we have seen documents that show that GSK UK deliberately stopped the supply of critical medicines and vaccines to Nigeria which has led to the widely-reported astronomical rise in the prices of GSK medicines, thus putting the lives of the average Nigerian at serious risk.

“By starving GSK Nigeria of medicines and vaccines supply this year, GSK UK was successfully able to put Nigerian patients’ lives at risk while forcing GSK Nigeria to shut down and lay off all its employees.

“They intend to move to importation via a foreign distributor which is akin to turning Nigeria to a dumping ground for GSK medicines. GSK UK also disingenuously tried to pin the scarcity of their products on the Nigeria forex challenge with a statement released by their communication director. This has since been debunked by the Bola Tinubu government with the deregulation of forex supply.

“We have also received confidential documents that confirms our initial analysis that this move by GSK UK is driven by greed, disregard for the Nigerian people, Government and shareholders.

“By shutting down GSK Nigeria, GSK UK also plans for force the GSK Nigeria board to transfer the market authorization permit of its drugs the new foreign distributor this month.

“This is similar to what they have done in other African countries and will rob the Nigerian shareholder of the over 30 years investments they have made in GSK Nigeria.

READ ALSO:Man arrested with 9.9kg cocaine in condoms gets 13 years in jail

“With the forced shut down of GSK Consumer Nigeria, GSK UK will be eliminating jobs in Nigeria and saving and approximate 35% of its cost which is estimated to be about $355million in 10years.

“We have also been well informed that GSK UK was only able to implement this forced shutdown by arm-twisting the GSK Nigeria board to use the services of a financial adviser that works for GSK UK.”

The group maintained that while it cannot stop GSK from making changes to its business, “We believe that the current process has been far from transparent and should be scrutinized and investigated by Nigerian regulators as it goes against the Nigerian patients, employee, Shareholders and Government.

“We once again call on NAFDAC, the SEC and the Ministry of Health to intervene and investigate the move to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground of GSK medicines.

“GSK Nigeria in recent past had multiple factories and sales and distribution operations which employed over 600 highly skilled workers (largely pharmacists).

“Over the years GSK UK has systematically refused to invest in Nigeria while reaping significant profit.

“Forcing the shutdown of GSK Nigeria will be final blow to over 50years of drugs manufacturing and distribution in Nigeria” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: