Pharmacists insist on headship of NAFDAC, NIPRD, PCN
• The Guardian wins Society’s Ben Ukwuoma Memorial Award
For better health care delivery in the country, the apex body of all pharmacists in Nigeria, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that members are appointed to head relevant agencies such as the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and the Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).
The Society is also set for its 89thAnnual National Conference in Minna, Niger State from November 7 to 12, 2016.The conference with theme “Pharmaceutical Industry Contributions to National Development” would be declared open by the Vice President, Prof. YemiOsinbajo, as a Special Guest of Honour, while the Governor of Niger State is Chief Host, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and the Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewale, will be Guests of Honour.
President PSN, Ahmed Yakasai, at a press conference in Lagos, yesterday, said: “We reckon that it is the prerogative of the federal government to carry out appointments at PCN, NAFDAC, and NIPRD which are major agencies in the pharmaceutical Sector. Our concern is predicated in public interest especially in the value such appointments can bring to bear on public health endeavours.
“Our first priority is to ensure lawful appointments on all pharmaceutical platforms because we certainly do not envisage or pray for the disruption in equilibrium we experienced at PCN when representatives of PSN was compromised due to a distasteful manipulation by an interested party in 2009. We once had the same scenario at NAFDAC which degenerated to a court action in another dispensation.”
Yakasai said to avoid an unpalatable discourse the PSN has since recommended its representatives to the Honourable Minister for Health as provided for in Section 3 (1) F of the PCN Act. He reminded the Federal Government that Section 1 of the PCN Act provides for perpetual succession which ordinarily should exclude the PCN from recurrent dissolution alongside other boards of parastatals.
Yakasai said it is therefore imperative that government appoints a chairman for the PCN as most of the other slots are statute bound by virtue of the law and that the Federal Government is also familiar more than ever before with the condition precedent to appoint substantive Director Generals (DGs)/Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) for NAFDAC and NIPRD. The PSN President said NAFDAC is yet another strategic agency in the workings of the health sector in view of the need to continue to ensure a safety mandate in the quality of medicines and foods offered for sale in Nigeria. He said government must appreciate that the management of NAFDAC led by a substantive Director General/Chief Executive Officer and the full governing council led by a seasoned chairman will play complimentary roles to consolidate some modest gains in the overall value chain the NAFDAC output epitomizes.
Yakasai said the PSN shall continue to promote its relationship with the distinguished Fourth Estate of the realm through the Ben Ukwuoma Memorial Award instituted last year. “The recipient of the award this year is Mr. Chukwuma Muanya from The Guardian stable,” he said. He added: “There would be decoration of the first set of Honourary members of the PSN – These distinguished honourary members include: Mr. Femi Soremekun, Managing Director/CEO,Biofem Pharmaceuticals Limited; Mr. Fidelis Ayebae, Managing Director/CEO, Fidson Healthcare Plc; and Dr. Anthony ChukwukaObiora, Chairman, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Limited.”
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