Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has warned stakeholders in the pharmaceutical business engaging in sale of wholesale drugs in the open market in Sabon Gari area of the state to relocate to the newly commissioned Coordinated Pharmaceutical Warehouse Centre (CWC) otherwise known as the Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje Pharmaceutical Centre.
He spoke at the recent formal opening of the CWC, which is part of the larger 117-acre Kano Economic City (KEC), developed under a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement between Brains and Hammers Limited and the Kano State Government.
Ganduje said that all other areas for wholesale of drugs in the state would be closed down forthwith and that those found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.
Chairman, KEC, Alhaji Mohammed Aliyu Chiroma described the Coordinated Pharmaceutical Wholesale Centre as a complex of 2,100 shops with warehouses, that will house businesses of all pharmaceutical products in Kano under the control of regulatory bodies such as Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria(PCN), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), and NAFDAC.
At the recent commissioning of the Phase One of the KEC, Chiroma spoke glowingly of the efforts put in by the tripartite pact executed by Brains and Hammers Limited, developer of the groundbreaking trade hub in West Africa, Kano State Government and Jaiz Bank Plc.
“The Kano Economic City is unlike anything that Brains and Hammers had done in the past. It required meticulous handling. It is first-of-its-kind in the West Africa sub-region. Initially projected to cost N78 Billion, it was reviewed upwards to N150 Billion,” he said.
For this level of solid financial support, Chiroma showered encomium on the management of Jaiz Bank for believing in the project from the beginning and staying the course.
With this formal opening, Kano has set the pace for other markets in the country where pharmaceuticals are being sold under unregulated environment. These places include Ariaria in Abia State, Idumota in Lagos State and Onitsha Head Bridge in Anambra State.
For years, federal regulatory agencies, particularly the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) engaged perpetrators of this unwholesome trade in a costly battle.
The Federal Government in 2003 muted the idea of a Coordinated Warehouse Centre (CWC) for pharmaceuticals to stop the chaotic and dangerous trade in drugs in the open markets.
At the recent commissioning of the Kanawa Coordinated Warehouse Centre (CWC) otherwise known as the Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje Pharmaceutical Centre, the Kano Governor gave marching orders to enforcement and regulatory agencies to shutdown the stores of traders selling wholesale drugs in the open market at Sabon Gari.
The terms of agreement states that Kano state Government provides a 117 hectares land while Brains and Hammers develops the project and sells to the investing general public.
It is designed to be a one-stop international standard market providing 35,000 shops, 250 capacity trailer park, 200 Warehouses, Bus Terminal, Conference Centre, Petrol Stations, Hotels and Motel.
A total of 3234 shops have been constructed and have mostly been sold.
Kano Economic City is well served with dual carriageway internal roads of 100m width, with generous parking spaces for both visitors and owners. External road network are Zaria road, Kano Western Bypass and Eastern Bypass.
Water supply to the market is from the biggest water treatment and supply plant in Kano, the Tamburawa Water Plant. Electricity supply is provided by Jamilu Gwammna 33KVA line that supplies the market with 24 hours uninterrupted power supply. An alternative energy will be incorporated, generating plant ,solar e.t.c
It will also house a World Trade Centre, recreational facilities for visitors and residents. A section of the Market is also designed to serve as light industries zone.
A police division is to be part of the security network of the market while a fire department will serve to prevent and fight any incidence of fire in the market.
In their goodwill messages, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and Prof. Mojisola Adeleye, Director General, NAFDAC praised Ganduje for becoming a model for other states.
Ehanire said, “History will be kind to your administration for relocating all the stakeholders to a regulated drug facility. The plan was that we will not close down the open market shops without providing an alternative. That is how we came about the CWC. It has never existed in Nigeria; ” while Adeyeye said, the Kano CWC will make our job easier. This is going to be a one-stop spot for us. Because of this edifice we will have more confidence that the drugs we use are of good quality.”
The Secretary of the NDLEA who represented the Director General of the agency , Mohammed Buba Marwa commended the Kano State Government for being the first state to carry out Drug Integrity Test for political office holders and also for supporting the agency’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA).