President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the challenge presented by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) can become an opportunity for Ghana to develop a strong and self-reliant pharmaceutical industry.

Addressing key representatives of the financial sector and the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana at the Jubilee House on Monday, President said the country is extremely dependent on foreign-made products, including pharmaceutical products, and it does not send a good message about the country’s ability to deal with an unlikely surge in cases of COVID-19 in the country.

“We should be making most of the things we use in Ghana for ourselves,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“Were there to be a surge, we have not got there yet, but were there to be a surge, in the incidence of this pandemic in Ghana, we will, unfortunately, discover that we are naked to deal with it,” he added.

The President explained that he had called the captains of the pharmaceutical industry to his office for a dispassionate discussion to find a lasting solution to the challenges of the sector.

He subsequently went into a closed-door meeting with the representatives of the financial sector and the pharmaceutical industry.

After the closed-door session, President of the Ghana Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, Kofi Nsiah Poku, said in a brief remark to the media that the interaction with the President had been fruitful.

He revealed that the government has pledged to make financial resources available to support the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana.