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Disclosing this in a tweet, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate, revealed that the facility was cofounded by two Nigerians, Lekan Asuni and Sammy Ogunjimi, is a wholly owned enterprise, and represents “one of Nigeria’s premier health technology companies.” Dr. Pate noted that Colexa Biosensor’s unveiling was coming just a few weeks after President Bola Tinubu’s establishment of the Presidential Unlocking Healthcare Value–Chain Initiative, and the signing of the Health Sector Renewal Compact. He described the emergence of the facility as “inspiring”, and evidence of the “bold ingenuity, and ample resourcefulness” of Nigeria’s private sector. Publicly available information about Colexa Biosensor indicates that it was founded back in July 2023. It is situated at the Industrial Avenue in the Ilupeju district of Lagos State and is privately held.
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The current production capacity of the facility is about 3.6 million packs per year, with a potential to scale to 10.8 million—exceeding local demand for the devices. This could open up a window for export, and an avenue for the accrual of foreign exchange. At the moment, all of the blood glucose meters used in Nigeria is imported. This reality constitutes a challenge for Nigerians living with diabetes who need these meters to monitor the concentration of blood glucose in their bodies—an essential part of managing their health. The cost of imported blood glucose meters is partly dependent on prevailing exchange rates. In periods of FOREX instability, the prices of these devices rise significantly within a short time, making it difficult for users in Nigeria to purchase them. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that about 4.3% of Nigerians have diabetes. The absolute number of diabetics is likely to rise over time, with it and other non-communicable diseases projected to constitute 20-25% of Nigeria’s disease burden by 2030.
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As the Colexa Biosensor facility comes on stream, it is hoped that it will make glucometers easier to access within Nigeria, and, over time, less expensive. The establishment is already positive news, given its status as the first of its kind in a country where millions are in dire need of its product.
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