L-R: Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso, Board Member and Head of the Credit Committee-EXIMBank, Kwadwo Boateng Gyenfi, Board Chairman-EXIM Bank and Nana Amo Tobbin I, Executive Chairman, TOBINCO Group of Companies.

The Export-Import Bank (EXIMBank) Ghana is set to collaborate with Entrance Pharmaceuticals and Research Center, a member of the Tobinco Group of companies, to produce Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin locally to treat Covid-19 patients.

Covid-19 patients treated with Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin recover quickly but the drug is not produced locally on the large scale. Furthermore, the drugs’ value has shot up on the international market due to its potency in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

EXIMBank is highly impressed with Tobinco Group’s utilisation of previous grant facility extended to the group and, therefore, is ready to advance a new $5 million facility to help tackle the pandemic in the country.

EXIMBank plays a major role as a partner of Ghanaian industries, especially SMEs, in their export efforts, by offering products and services at all stages of the production and distribution cycle, including import of technology, export of products, developing exports, production, marketing, pre- and post-shipment.

During a recent inspection tour of Entrance Pharmaceuticals and Research Center , the biggest pharmaceutical company in the sub-region, members of the EXIMBank’s board credit subcommittee, were amazed at the level of investment at the facility.

The team, which involved the Board Chairman of EXIMBank, further observed that the company had huge additional space to do further extension.

The tour of Entrance Pharmaceuticals at Spintex, was part of a routine exercise that the team undertakes to observe how well its (EXIMBank) clients or beneficiaries of its facilities are faring.

In line with the president’s vision of industrialising the economy and supporting local businesses, the EXIMBank identified 10 areas of the economy to extend support to in order to drive this agenda.

These areas include; Pharmaceuticals, poultry, agro processing (fruits and juices, non-alcoholic beverages), Cassava supply chain, Garment and Textiles Industry (AGOA compliance,) Film and Entertainment, Palm Oil Production, Agro Business including maize production, Youth in Green House Project and Cashew and Shea butter production on a large scale.

The objectives of these thematic areas are to generate employment, increase export to other West African countries, the drive for import substitution. On pharmaceuticals, the aim is to support companies which are into manufacturing, production and distribution of products within the sub-region. Entrance Pharmaceuticals has been producing and exporting quality medicines to the sub region over the years through the Free Zone regime. Products like Lufart, Entramol among others have been accepted as quality and efficacious drugs in the sub-region.

After a careful evaluation of Entrance Pharmaceuticals after being granted an initial facility, EXIMBank is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that once another support is extended to the group, the local economy will further be boosted through job creation and exports will be enhanced while importation of drugs will be limited, thereby enhancing balance of payment.

Moreover, the 8% interest rate being offered to the Tobinco Group (Entrance Pharmaceuticals) on the grant facility will further reduce the prices of locally manufactured drugs, which the ordinary Ghanaian can easily afford.

Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited has been a leader in the pharma industry for over three decades now, specialising in the marketing and distribution of antimalarials like Alaxin, Lonart amongst others across the country. Within the period, Tobinco expanded its tentacles to include other nine businesses including Entrance Pharmaceutical and Research Center, which focuses on the manufacturing of all kinds of quality drugs for local consumption as well as exportation to other African countries .

Popular drugs and medical supplies like Lufart, Entramol, Mucotin, Zinvit, Tobcee, Kofof as well as Omal hand sanitisers, are currently being manufactured and exported by Entrance Pharmaceuticals, which has the largest manufacturing plant in West Africa.