Biogaran acquires Swipha for local, international expansion
•Workers down tools over new policies, sacked colleagues
As part of its expansion plans to other African countries, and to ensure increase in local production and distribution of drugs across the country, Biogaran, a subsidiary of Servier, specialist in generics has acquired Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited (Swipha).
Biogaran, said the decision to buy Swipha was taken despite the poor situation of the company, which was at the period, short in cash and under threat of closure, to provide Nigerians access to quality and affordable medicines.
A statement signed by the Managing Director of Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited, Gaby EI Khoury, and obtained by The Guardian, explained that upon inception, the new management decided to lift the company up to its Group compliance and social policies, corporate governance and benefits for the employees.
According to the firm, management decided to restructure the organisation to ensure efficiency by removing superfluous staff, and eventually align the firm with global best practices.
However, some of the workers embarked on strike since mid-December, to protest some of the policies, which are not agreeable to them, thereby stifling most of the operations.
Efforts according to the firm to recall the workers and have them have a rethink about a promising future proved abortive.To safeguard company’s properties and prevent any form of hostility, the management said it was compelled to officially shutdown operations temporarily.
The statement read in part, “The new management of Swipha strongly believes in Nigeria, and is committed to its economic development, and is resilient in its quest to engage modern new ways of working, best in class practices, and high-level compliance standards, notwithstanding the financial loses the company may incur during this time.
“It is committed to doing all it takes to ensure that the company maintains and strengthens its position as a leader in the pharmaceutical sector. “As part of efforts to further reposition Swipha to meet global standards, the new management is introducing fresh ideas to improve on the welfare of staff as well as new corporate policies, to attract and retain talented and motivated staff at every level.
“A first move from the Management is to reshape the functions of its field force in line with global standards to exceed the expectations of her esteemed customers.“Swipha strongly believes in Nigeria and is committed to its economic and moral development, and will engage in global best practices. It is committed to doing all it takes to ensure that it maintains and strengthens its position as a leader in the pharmaceutical sector.”
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