Current Market Trends
million (2015 estimate)
GDP*: 490.2 billion (2015 estimate)
Currency: Naira (N)
Language: English (Official) Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa (The three major local languages)
There is a growing interest by Nigerians living overseas to invest in the Nigerian healthcare sector and this trend will likely continue according to market intelligence. Many of the diaspora groups are exploring opportunities to sell medical equipment and some are researching the cost-benefit of building world-class hospitals, diagnostic centers; and organizing need-based interventions including air ambulance services and capacity building for healthcare professionals. Industry experts estimate that over 25,000 Nigerian travelers are medical tourists. While this presents an opportunity to U.S. medical institutions, it also presents prospects to suppliers of mid- to high-end medical equipment looking to expand into Nigeria. Market intelligence from industry associations, major importers and distributors estimates that Nigeria’s market for medical equipment will grow by about 15% over the next two years.
Experts estimate that the contribution of Nigeria's health sector to GDP is 5%. The country remains a net importer of medical equipment and prescription medicines. For medical equipment, local production is limited to peripheral items such as hospital beds and gurneys. For medicines, limited local capacity exists in the private sector for over-the-counter drugs especially those for treating common cold, malaria and headaches. Across the country, there is a dearth of well-trained, well-equipped and adequately motivated medical professionals. For Nigeria's over 180 million people, there are about 13,703 primary care, 845 secondary care and 59 tertiary care facilities. The private sector is expected to be the primary driver of growth as healthcare demand in Africa is projected to grow to $35 billion in 2016. There is zero tariffs on imported medical equipment, pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery and packaging materials. However, pharmaceuticals attract a 10% duty. Nigeria enjoys strong healthcare professional associations such as the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), and the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
The best way for U.S. manufacturers and suppliers to penetrate the Nigerian market is to combine the benefits of the network services and programs of U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Centers (USEACs, http://www.export.gov/comm_svc/eac.html.) with the extensive knowledge, industry contacts and services of the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria (http://www.buyusa.gov/nigeria). We encourage seeking the assistance of a USEAC before exploring an opportunity in this market. For establishing a presence in Nigeria, we recommend that U.S. firms use an agent/distributor relationship with a locally registered company. Terms and conditions must be fully defined upfront.
Current Market Trends
In Nigeria, consumer health has been growing in the past 5 years due to the growing awareness for preventative measures and rising family incomes. Moreover, medical treatment in Nigeria is quite expensive, most individuals thus prefer self-medication. A report published by Euromonitor International in May 2014 indicated that independent chemists/pharmacies remain the major channel for the distribution of consumer health products. Modern channels, such as hypermarkets and supermarkets stock analgesics, cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies, as well as vitamins and dietary supplements. Direct selling continues to be the most important channel for the distribution of medical devices. Internet retailing remains low.
According to industry analysts, European products dominate this market for medical devices but Asian exports (led by China and India), are making significant inroads. Every year, hundreds of Asian manufacturers and suppliers physically visit hospitals, offices and depots of local medical equipment/drugs dealers in to market their products. Until recently, imports from Europe accounted for over 60% of Nigeria’s market for medical equipment, but that has now been eroded by Asian imports. According to industry reports, the U.S. accounts for less than 20% of this market both for equipment and medicines.
Market intelligence from industry associations, major importers and distributors indicate that Nigeria’s market for medical equipment will grow by about 15% over the next two years. For both new and used equipment, price is the most competitive factor followed by service support and product origin. It is important to recognize the benefits of cultivating long-term personal relationships in a market as culturally diverse and relationship-driven as Nigeria. Demand exists for diagnostic equipment such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography scan (CT), Digital X-Ray, Ultrasound, Mammography, ultrasound scans, as well as anesthesia equipment and mortuary tools. Top priorities for Nigeria’s healthcare agenda include: polio eradication, maternal and infant care, malaria control, pandemic influenza prevention and control, and non-communicable disease prevention, among others. Statistics Analysts say malaria is one of the principal causes of illness and death in Nigeria. Current statistics indicate that nine out of ten deaths related to malaria that occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, are among young children and pregnant women. Tuberculosis is another pandemic in Nigeria, with the country ranking 10th among the 22 high-burden TB countries in the world.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC www.nafdac.org.ng) regulates food and drug products in Nigeria. The supervising ministry for national provision of healthcare services is the Federal Ministry of health. http://www.nigeria.gov.ng/fed_min_health.aspx The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) is responsible for compliance with equipment specification and import standards. In brief, SON's Conformity Assessment Program (SONCAP) is designed to educate exporters to Nigeria especially on matters related to product standards and regulations and to check indiscriminate importation of substandard goods. For more information about SONCAP, please visit www.soncap.com or www.sononline.org. Currently, imports are inspected in Nigeria at the port of entry under a destination Inspection program. The U.S. Commercial Service Nigeria recommends that U.S. exporters persuade their Nigerian associates to facilitate appropriate import documentations (and issuance of certificates where necessary) with relevant government agencies such as SON and NAFDAC.
There are no barriers to trade and investments in the healthcare sector. Zero tariffs are applied to imported medical equipment, pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery and packaging materials. A 10% duty is however charged on medicines.
Medic West Africa Exhibition & Congress, October 12-14, 2016
Eko Hotels, Lagos
Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) http://www.nationalnma.org/
Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) http://www.mdcan.org.ng/
Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) http://psnnational.org/
Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN) http://www.hfnigeria.com/
Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) http://www.nigdentalasso.org/
Association of Public Health Professionals of Nigeria (APHPN) http://www.aphpn.org/
Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) http://www.hcpan.org.ng/
Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) http://www.mlscn.gov.ng/
Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) http://www.amlsn.org.ng/
Nigerian Government Health Plans: http://www.health.gov.ng/doc/NSHDP.pdf
Local drug manufacturing companies are largely involved in making over-the-counter (OTC) drugs because they have limited capacity to produce prescription medicines. Opportunities exist for export of prescription drugs and active ingredients used for making OTC medicines. Medical disposables especially those for testing for malaria parasites, drug abuse, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis will also do well in Nigeria. The dearth of medical expertise in Nigeria’s health sector provides a big prospect for American companies involved in medical training and education.
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information
Name: Chamberlain Eke
Position: Commercial Specialist
Phone: 234-1- 460-3400 ext 3414
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