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Nigeria, the most rapidly growing pharmaceutical market in West Africa, deals with over 150 pharma formulations facilities. This nation has become a new hope for many national and international pharmaceutical companies. Big firms are showing much interest in doing business with Nigeria.

The growing population is one of the main reasons:

Nigeria has a growing population. It was 119% in 2015 and it is estimated to reach 399 million by the year 2050. Nigeria is supposed to be the third most populous country in the entire world. Again, the pharma industry in this nation is developing at approximately 13% annually.

The probable size of the Nigerian market is around $1.8billion. The pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria are booming fast. It is because around 60% of medicines production happens in Nigeria. Again, the companies can hire a physically and mentally sound workforce aged between 15 and 64. This young person can efficiently work in the pharma industry.

Other reasons:

Nigeria is experiencing rapid urbanization. Also, fast household consumption expenditure is there. Experts projected that Nigeria will grow annually by 8%, and by 2030, it can reach $1.1 trillion. The pharmaceutical exporters in Africa takes Nigeria as the most important market.

Let’s look at history:

May & Baker is the first pharma manufacture in Nigeria during the 1940s. After that, many companies joined the list. The federal government is concentrating on growing the local production of medicines to facilitate the growing population. Many multinational companies are starting their projects and manufacturing hubs in Nigeria and other areas of Africa.

Most of the manufacturing hubs are located in the East and the West. Usually, the products are produced in the local plants. Majority of the pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria manufacture one or more than one drugs based on capacity. Mostly, generics are manufactured. Some companies import medicines too.

Developing infrastructure of the healthcare industry:

Africa is improving their equipment, facilities and capacity for addressing challenges related to the healthcare sector. Nigerians have started health tourism for getting proper healthcare outside the country. Along with South Africa, India also has become a destination to consider. It is estimated that the per capita spending in all the big cities can be double the national average. Cities in Africa have better infrastructure, logistics, and potential to be the engine that can effectively deal with structural changes.

Nigeria: A market to depend upon

It is found that around 132 pharma manufactures in Nigeria have a license for continuing operation. The multinational firms from Europe are dominating the market with high quality branded medicines, vaccines, anti-hypertensives and insulin. This pharma produces are usually sold to various private organizations. Many Indian companies have forwarded their activities for producing generic products locally. Few have grabbed a respected position among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria.

Many firms used to source raw materials at quite affordable prices. It is strengthening the partnerships of both the nations that further to a competitive advantage. Besides, the local pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria are continuing their efforts to join hands with multinationals with respect to licensing arrangements and contract manufacturing. It has helped Africa to sell their locally made generic medicines outside.

Moreover, the Nigerian market mainly survives on import. Around 350 financially sound importers sell their products to wholesalers that reach the retailers. Also, there is an existence of a certain number of local pharma manufactures in Nigeria that import drugs. Additionally, distribution teams are employed so that the drugs can be spread throughout the country’s open market.

Nigeria boasts over 5,795 licensed pharma distributors and salespeople. Large manufacturers make use of Worldwide Commercial Ventures which is one of the largest wholesalers of Nigeria. The purpose is to distribute the products properly.


The shape of the pharma sector is fast changing with new regulations coming up. Many regional distribution centres are emerging. Presently, most of the producers including the top twenty pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria are working with several distributors in every state.

The government of Africa administers the national Drug Distribution Guidelines. The objective is establishing a well-round structured system of pharmaceutical distribution. As per the guidelines, many specialized distribution centres are opening for channelizing medicines from importers and producers to private and public health centres along with the country’s pharmacies.

The pharmaceutical industry of Nigeria is in the focus of the local government and foreign companies for a few decades. Hence, various initiatives have been taken for improving the condition and facilitate drugs and other pharma products to each person in the country. The new lifestyle diseases have the situation tensed and pharmaceutical companies and exporters in Africa are working forcefully towards coping with it.

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