From Left: Mr Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso, Board Member & Head of the Credit Committee-EXIM Bank Board; Mr. Kwadwo Boateng Gyenfi, Board Chairman-EXIM Bank; and Nana Amo Tobbin I, Executive Chairman, TOBINCO Group of Companies

Ghana EximBank 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 are said to recover quickly when treated with Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in many coronavirus-hit countries.

Unfortunately, these drugs are not produced on large scale locally. 

Again, the value of these drugs has shot up on the international market due to their potency in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Highly impressed with the utilization of previous grant/credit facility extended to the Tobinco group, the EximBank is ready to advance a $5 million facility to help produce essential drugs to tackle the pandemic in the country.

EximBank plays a major role as a partner of Ghanaian industries, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in their export efforts.

It offers 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 sub-committee were amazed at the level of investment at the facility.

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

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

EXIM Bank’s vision

In line with the president’s vision of industrializing   the economy and supporting local businesses, the EXIM Bank 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

Entrance Pharmaceuticals has been producing and exporting quality medicines to the sub region over the years through the Free zones regime.

Products like Lufart, Entramol among others have been accepted as quality and efficacious drugs, particularly in West Africa.

Following a careful evaluation of Entrance Pharmaceuticals and 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.

Exports, according to the bank, 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 quality drugs, which the ordinary Ghanaian can easily afford. 

Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited has been a leader in the pharma industry for over three decades now, specializing in the marketing and distribution of antimalarials like Alaxin, Lonart among 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 local 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, Omal hand sanitizers are currently being manufactured and exported by Entrance Pharmaceuticals, which has the largest manufacturing plant in West Africa.