…GSK’s insider’s dealings that may endanger the lives of Nigerians and rob Nigerian shareholders of their investments
The Consumer Rights Project, a Nigerian Think Tank on Consumer Rights and Local Content Development, has deprecated the attempt by the promoters of GSK International, operating in Nigeria, to cripple its Nigerian Business at the detriment of Nigerian Shareholders.
They have noticed a seemingly calculated attempt by GSK, Nigeria’s leading trading partner – GSK International, to shrink its Nigeria business by ceasing supply of its drugs and vaccines to the Nigeria market and also endangering the lives of Nigerians who depend on their flagship medicines – antibiotics, asthma medication and vaccines.
A statement in Lagos, Nigeria by the Project Director of the Consumer Rights Project -Gabriel Ehigiator Esq., indicates as follows: “The Consumer Rights Project is not unaware of the attempt by some forces within the GSK Group in the UK to create a facade that will force Nigerian Shareholders to sell off their shareholdings to them for their selfish aim and profit.
“We wish to remind these persons that the activities of a Pharmaceutical Company does not just border on business, but life, good health of citizens and overall wellbeing. Some critically ill Nigerians are already dying of avoidable deaths, like the unwarranted death of a female of asthma in a private hospital in the South West, due to the scarcity of GSK’s asthma drugs.
“We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, NAFDAC, Consumer Protection Commission and other apposite authorities in this regard, to conduct a corporate governance audit on GSK Nigeria to ensure the protection of the interest of the Nigerian Shareholders and the equitable supply of its medicines and vaccines in Nigeria.
“We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, to enforce the rights of local shareholders as it relates to GSK, and protect them from the annexation of their shares, through unfair and discriminatory policies, that are geared at undermining the economic sovereignty of Nigeria.
“As can be seen from the recently released quarterly business results, GSK has stopped supply of its medicines to Nigeria which led to massive shortages of its critical medicines and vaccines. With this action it renders the GSK Nigeria business unviable and unable to operate.
“We state that our objective is to protect Nigerian consumers and local content, local investments against unfair trade practices and manipulative subterfuge. We also believe equitable medicine access should be top priority for a company like GSK and its spin off company, Haleon, which claims to have the patient at the center of their operations.
“A company registered to do business in Nigeria, must conform to Nigerian Laws and must protect the interest of the Nigerian people, which in this case of GSK Nigeria, is above business, but the good health and wellbeing of our people.
“It is important to note that GSK has in the past tried to forcibly take over GSK Nigeria business in 2013 but this action was rejected by the local shareholders. Since then, the company has consistently reduced its investment in the country and sold its manufacturing operations recently without reinvesting the proceeds from the sale in Nigeria.”
The group also calls on the current Chairman of GSK – Chief E. Onuzo, who is an ex-employee of GSK Nigeria, to ensure that local shareholders are properly informed of all plans of GSK especially as it impacts the overall health of the business.