Godwin Akpan

In Nigeria, often times, we get to hear or read where people ask questions like, “do we really need this project at this point in time?’’ ‘’ What is the benefit of this project or that project to the common man on the street?’’ and ‘’Why not channel the resources to a more profitable venture rather than waste it on one project or other?’’

Some others may ask, ‘’is this the garri that the poor masses are craving for?’’ The questions continue. My brothers, life goes beyond garri and soup o.

This barrage of questions or sentiments if you like, usually pop up whenever government, organizations or even individuals want to embark on a project, especially if the resources for such project(s) is tax payers’ money. Of course, citizens are very correct in aspiring to probe how and on what their collective commonwealth should be spent on; this is indeed the beauty of democracy.

When citizens ask questions especially that of probity of their leaders, it shows how responsible and responsive such citizens are. It shows that leaders can be held accountable for their actions and inactions. It shows that a leader cannot just wake up from slumber to take action; rather such a leader must consult and convince the people before taking action(s) since he/she is answerable to them.

We have seen and read of many instances where citizens protest against some action(s) of their government and such action(s) is reversed. We have also seen some projects reversed by governments simply because its citizens do not see the need for such project. When government pays keen attention to the agitations of the people and is sensitive to their demands, of course agitations and demands which are sincere, definitely development, peace and growth is in sight.

Now, the big question begging for answer is; do we really need a Syringe Manufacturing Company in Akwa Ibom State?

Akwa Ibomites and indeed Nigerians are people you sincerely don’t take for granted. They are people who know what they want, applaud good policies, initiatives, investments and waste no time in rejecting hook-line-and-sinker what they consider inconsequential. Nigerians will praise you to high heavens if you are doing well and stone you if you derail.

Under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidency had witnessed several protests staged by Nigerians sequel to policies made that were not in tandem with the wishes of the very masses which overwhelmingly gave it the mandate.

In Akwa Ibom state, Governor Udom Emmanuel had had a similar taste of the pudding where some persons took to the street to protest a recent initiative conceived by the state government. Although most projects and policies have been applauded by the people both at the state and national level, some have also witnessed huge criticism.

One project that has been overwhelmingly accepted by all, irrespective of political divide, for its potentially direct benefits to the people both in and outside the state is Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company (JSM) billed for commissioning later this month.

The reason for the overwhelming acceptance of this project by Nigerians is traceable to its potentially direct benefits to Nigerians which are ‘visible’ to the blind.

Apart from providing consumables to feed the medical sector and by extension Medicare to Nigerians and indeed, Africa, Jubilee Syringe will create direct and indirect employment to Nigerians, stop the huge FOREX from importation of the product (Syringe) and drive unimaginable traffic to the state, which could possibly open the state to more investment opportunities.

Whose initiative is Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Limited?

The idea of Jubilee Syringe was conceived and initiated by a Turkish born businessman and investor, Mr. Onur Kumral who doubles as the Chairman of JSM. The company however is designed to have its daily activities managed by another experienced Turkish born, Mr. Zubeyir Gulabi, who sits as the Managing Director.

According to Kumral, “this is a hundred percent privately driven initiative and investment”. He went further, “But to attract investors to your country, you must encourage them; investors need encouragement. This is what Akwa Ibom State government has provided us, and this explains why we have come to Akwa Ibom State to invest. Apart from the encouragement through partnership with the state government, the state is the safest place in the country in terms of security. And of course, you know that no investor would risk investing in an unsafe environment. In Akwa Ibom, we are quite safe and our investment is safe.

“To some people, Akwa Ibom State might look far away from the market, but the good policies of the government on ground have given us the confidence that this is the best location to do business, and we are here to stay.

On the quality of the Syringes to be produced by JSM

The technology we are bringing is the best and the latest anywhere in the world, according to Mr. Onur Kumral. He continued: “We will be producing in the European standards. Why are we doing that? First, Nigerians deserves it, so we give it to them; the highest quality. You know what? People keep asking me if the price of the product will be affordable and I say yes it will be affordable even with the high standard of production.

“Jubilee Syringe is going to be the cheapest and the highest quality. This is possible because if I do not import products, I do not pay importation tax which is about 30 – 35 % difference. Again, the raw material is just an hour away from me because I am buying it directly from Nigeria. So why can’t it be the cheapest?

“When you consider importing the products abroad, and going through the process of clearing with the Nigerian Customs and going through other processes, you will understand why Jubilee Syringe will be the cheapest. Like I said, there is a huge market here, huge potentials, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, this could not have come at a better time.

“Akwa Ibom State is going to be the hub of medical equipment in Africa, not just West Africa. The distributors are all happy and impressed. Syringe manufacturing factory is not an easy thing, but we can say that this would be found in Nigeria”.

The impacts Jubilee Syringe would create for Nigeria and Nigerians

The take off of the syringe company in Nigeria, particularly at a time when recession was being chorused is apt as it would be a boosting tonic to the Nigerian Economy. This noble venture will no doubt save the country the huge amount of foreign exchange expended in the importation of the over one billion syringes used annually in the country.

Presently South Africa presumably is the only country on the continent producing syringes with production estimate pegged at 93 million units annually. However, upon commissioning this September, Jubilee Syringe will be producing between 350 million to 400 million units annually thus making it the largest not only in the sub region but in the continent.

This therefore means that a large chunk of the demand of this rather essential medical consumable would be sourced from Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria! One need not be an economist to understand that the launch of this syringe factory in the state would close the doors to the over one billion syringes which were imported annually into the country.

Not many, perhaps only medics and Para-medics may have known the underscored role syringe plays in general, which occasions its high demand. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 90% of medical syringes are used to administer drugs, 5% for vaccinations and 5% for other uses such as blood transfusions. Suffice to say; what water is to life, syringe is to medics and healthcare delivery. And just as one in portable water business can never be out of business, so is one in the syringe business as the demand is ever unending.

Human resource quota for the Jubilee Syringe

The breakdown of Human resource quota for the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company as it relates to employment has Akwa Ibomites occupying 70 % of the positions, other Nigerians 20 % and foreign personnel 10%. While JSM is expected to commence employment with about 250 Nigerians, the investment would be open to more employment opportunity to Nigerians. This would no doubt reduce the rate of Unemployment by some reasonable percentage.

With the present report issued by the National Bureau of Statistics stating that the country is out of recession, it now becomes pertinent to ensure that we not only come out of recession but stay out. Unemployment plays a key role in determining indices of economic growth. So the syringe factory when fully operational will no doubt soar up the economic fortunes of Akwa Ibom and Nigeria at large by reducing the level of unemployment.

It must be mentioned that the company recently sent 12 Nigerians to Istanbul, Turkey, for training on Injection Moulding Machines, Maintenance of moulds and Quality Control. The selected Nigerians are strictly graduates of mechanical and electrical engineering. Plans are also afoot to send more Nigerians for training especially in the area of safety, packaging, printing and other pertinent areas.

Factory location

Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Limited sits on an 8,000 square metres land space in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.


In attempting to provide answers to the above question: ‘Do we really need a Syringe Manufacturing Company in Nigeria?’, one would argue that indeed, it is quite expedient to establish an investment such as a Syringe Factory in the country owing to the fact that Syringe has been identify by the World Health Organization (WHO) as very essential in healthcare delivery, as about 90% of medical syringes are used to administer drugs. In a nutshell, to stay healthy and alive, Nigerians and indeed Africans need a Syringe Factory.

Again, the fear of sustainability of the factory or lack of maintenance which has been the bane of infrastructure decay in our society will be addressed since JSM is a one hundred percent privately driven investment and not a government investment that hardly stand the taste of time. The MD of JSM, Mr. Gulabi, recently in an interview stated that “this factory has come to stay in Nigeria and will remain. This factory will outlive our generation”, he assured. This implies that at least from this particular investment, regular employment is guaranteed.

With Nigerians beginning to acquire professional training in Syringe production following the return of the 12 Nigerians sent to Turkey for advanced training by the Management of JSM and more Nigerians expected to be trained too, there is therefore hope that soon Nigeria will boost of quality man power in syringe production. This is indeed a welcome development for us as a developing country. One can therefore argue that, indeed the coming of JSM to Nigeria is apt and very timely.

With 250 Nigerians expected to be directly employed and over 5000 indirectly employed for a start by the factory, one can authoritatively say that job has been created and unemployment reduced. In this light, it can be submitted that yes, indeed, Nigeria needs a Syringe Manufacturing Company.

So, Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Limited, welcome to Nigeria!

Story by Godwin Akpan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *