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Reps to probe Alta Semper’s bid to take over HealthPlus

Reps to probe Alta Semper’s bid to take over HealthPlus
February 17
21:17 2021

The house of representatives has directed its committee on public petitions to investigate the move by Alta Semper Capital, a foreign private equity firm, to take over HealthPlus, a pharmaceutical company.

The decision of the house followed a petition laid before it by Benjamin Kalu, a lawmaker from Imo and spokesman of the lower legislative chamber.

The petition was written by Oladimeji Ekengba.

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) is said to have granted the equity firm a waiver to take over the company.


While presenting the petition to his colleagues on the floor of the house, Kalu said based on section 2(2) of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria act, P.17, 2004, the waiver granted to Alta Semper Capital is “illegal”.

Since the PCN issued the controversial waiver, there have been attempts to take over HealthPlus’ bank accounts and offices by Alta Semper Capital.

Speaking with journalists on the matter, the house spokesman said it is shocking that PCN granted the waiver to “unqualified persons to own or operate a retail pharmacy business in Nigeria”.


“A mere letter cannot and must not be allowed to abrogate an act of the national assembly. Therefore, any structure put on that weak foundation should not be allowed to stand, because it was not birthed by legality,” Kalu said.

“The only remedy for the Alta Semper-HealthPlus anomaly is for parties to be returned to status quo. While we are open to foreign direct investment, private equity companies must come through the front door and not the back door.

“We are a rule of law compliant nation. Investors must understand this and comply with our laws.

“The COVID-19 scourge has critically impacted medicine security in Nigeria. So, as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic, now more than ever, there is a grave responsibility on the government to ensure best practices and a healthy regulatory space for local pharmaceutical businesses to thrive.


“Pharmaceutical practice standards and the integrity of the supply chain should not be distorted or compromised.”

The lawmaker added that allowing unlicensed practitioners into the market would give room for fake and substandard medicines in the country.

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