By Dapo Akinrefon

AS a way of tackling unemployment, a manufacturing company, Jubilee Syringe is set to create jobs for some unemployed Nigerians.

Recent statistics revealed that Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose for the seventh straight quarter to 13.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016 from 13.3 percent in the previous period.

Kumral, Turkish investor

The data showed that this is the highest level since 2009, as the number of unemployed rose by 5.2 percent to 11.2 million, employment rose at a much slower 0.6 percent to 69.5 million and the labour force increased 1 percent to 80.7 million. Meanwhile, youth unemployment rate increased to 25 percent from 24 percent in the previous period.

But in a bid to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country, Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company will in August 2017, commence full production of syringes in the country.

The company, which will be the first syringe manufacturing company in Nigeria, second only to South Africa in the whole of Africa, intends to kick off with a start up production capacity of between 350 to 400 million syringes annually, with provision for expanding its production capacity to 1billion syringes by 2018.

Located on an 8,000 square meter of land area in Onna Local Government of Akwa Ibom State, Jubilee Syringe is owned by a Turkish-born businessman and investor, Mr Onur Kumral, whose investments spanned over 17 countries of the world and having believed that Akwa Ibom has good development policies and adequate security.

Aside the motive of making a profit, Mr. Kumral explains that the company’s primary aim is not only to create jobs but also to help in stabilizing the nation’s economy and add value to Nigerians through training and retraining.

The Turkish investor, in a move aimed at adding value to Nigerians, said the company recently sent 12 Nigerians to Istanbul, Turkey, for training in key areas of Injection Machines.

The 12 Nigerians, he noted, were trained on the operation of Injection Moulding Machines, Maintenance of Moulds and Quality Control.

Kumral said: “If you are losing your dollars, you arrest the situation by simply stopping importations and this arrest is possible only when you start producing and manufacturing inside your country. If you manufacture, you save huge dollars and use it for something else.”

On his part, Mr. Zubeyir Gulabi, who will run the daily management of Jubilee Syringe upon commencement of operations as the company’s Managing Director, said while receiving the 12 Nigerians, who returned from Turkey, that they are the future of industrialization in the state and the nation.

According to him, there are plans by Jubilee Syringe to send more Nigerians for training especially in the area of safety, packaging, and printing.

Explaining the motive for citing Nigeria to set up the company Kumral said they are impressed with the efforts of the governments at all levels to encourage foreign investors.

“Do not forget that these syringe factory raw materials are in Nigeria, produced by Nigerian Petrochemical companies, and of course, all the machinery needed to start the production of syringes in Nigeria has arrived the country”, he added.

He said their decision to berth in Akwa Ibom was as a result of their understanding of the track records of the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, with huge experience in the financial institution for quite a long time with a great reputation.

He said: “He gave us the assurance that Nigeria is the right market for such huge investment. His support has been quite tremendous and we are quite encouraged by this. We assured him that with such support from his government, we were ready to swing into action in the state. There is great potential in Africa.”

Speaking further, he said: “What we are trying to put on the ground in Nigeria is what should have been done years back if the political will was there. Establishing a syringe factory in Nigeria is definitely not something we should be celebrating at this time and age. The market is here. There is the potential for four billion syringes to be sold in this country. 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.”

Regarding the standard of the Syringe Factory, Chairman of the Syringe company, Mr. Kumral said: “Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company is a Turkish company with a great reputation and cannot possibly go beyond its standard. The technology we are bringing for the purpose of establishing this factory is the best and the latest anywhere in the world. We will be producing using European standards, and the product will be affordable for all Africans, especially, Nigerians.”

“Those in the business of medicine will be quite happy about this development. Towards the end of this year, you will see huge traffic in the state because of this factory. 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”, he said.

Continuing, he said the setting up of the factory will be replicated across the country in the years to come.

His words: “We are looking at a production capacity of 350 – 400 million pieces of syringe per year for now. This factory is conceived and built with the full option of expansion because of the growing population of Nigeria and of course, Africa. The present population of Nigeria needs about 4 billion syringes per year. With this, you can imagine how much you spend importing these products outside. It is our belief that when we start production by August as we intend to, by next years, we would be able to triple our production capacity to many syringes annually.

“This factory is 100% private investment. The only support we got from Akwa Ibom State government is in the area of good government and economic policies, land used for the factory and of course, the security of our investment. Like I have always said, establishing this factory here is not the end of the story, it is the start of the story. It is not just bringing in the syringe factory alone; we intend to bring more investments into the country. Our confidence is in Governor Udom Emmanuel and we are very attracted to his vision.”

Gov Udom commends initiative

Corroborating this claim, Governor Emmanuel Udom, who visited the factory, restated that the company is exclusively a private affair and no kobo of the state government is included.

On Wednesday last week, Governor Udom Emmanuel performed the groundbreaking Ceremony of a 600 thousand tons of flour miles in Onna local government area of Akwa Ibom state which is expected to begin full production by 2018.

The groundbreaking ceremony preceded the inspection of the estimated 350 to 400 million

Governor Emmanuel assured Akwa Ibom people that more industries will be established in the state to engender job opportunities and stimulate the economy.

He promised to harness his connections in the international community to bring in genuine investors to the state.

He said the factory which has the highest capacity for production in Africa was not owned by the state government and explained that it is entirely a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

He solicited for more support and cooperation for his government, saying better days lie ahead for Akwa Ibom people.

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