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Niger partners local pharmaceutical companies on essential drugs

By Opeyemi Babalola
05 December 2021   |   2:43 am
Niger State government through Niger State Drugs and Hospitals Consumables Management Agency (NSDHCMA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies

Wife of Governor of Niger State, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, (middle sitting), beside her to the left is CEO ARC_ESM, Azuka Okeke, and to the right is the Commissioner of Health, Niger State,  Dr Muhammad Makusidi with other senior government officials and CEOs of Pharma Companies.<br />

Niger State government through Niger State Drugs and Hospitals Consumables Management Agency (NSDHCMA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies under the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), to ensure uninterrupted supply of quality and affordable essential medicines to the state citizens.

The MoU signing ceremony of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) took place recently, at the manufacturing facility of Fidson Healthcare Plc, located in Ota, Ogun State. This is the 3rd Public-Private Partnership between State and local pharmaceutical manufacturers facilitated by the Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (ARC_ESM) in the last two years; the other two States being Yobe and Kaduna states.

The signing ceremony was followed by a tour of the facilities of two of the companies in the partnership facilities – Drugfield Pharmaceuticals and Fidson Healthcare Plc.

Niger State government team was led by the wife of the state Governor, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, while other key representatives from the state included the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, the Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Health, Dr Mohammed Gana, the Executive Director – NSDHCMA, Dr Mohammed Audi, and other senior government officials from the Ministry of Health.

Niger State first lady stated that she was elated to be present at the MoU signing. She affirmed the state’s readiness to work with the Pharma Companies to ensure the supply of quality and affordable medicines to the people of Niger State, assuring the companies that the state government would keep to the terms of the MoU.

An elated Commissioner for Health, Dr Mohammed Makusidi, remarked that the state government has shown its commitment to the success of the MoU, as all the leadership of the Niger State Health Agencies were present at the MoU signing ceremony.

The pharmaceutical companies represented by the chairman of the PMG-MAN and the CEO of Fidson Healthcare Plc, Dr Fidelis Ayebae, appreciated the Niger State government for keying into the partnership initiative while emphasizing the commitment of the local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to addressing the health agenda of the country.

He applauded the state government for adopting the PPP model, which promotes patronage of the local pharma companies and commended the Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (ARC_ESM) for facilitating this opportunity.

The Senior Programme Officer, Health Global Development from the Nigeria Country Office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Charity Change, stated that Nigeria can export its learnings from this PPP to other African countries on how to ensure the availability of health commodities at the last mile while managing the challenges and was delighted to witness the signing of the MoU with the Niger State. She commended the role played by ARC_ESM in facilitating this partnership.

Through this initiative with the local pharmaceutical companies, Niger State Drugs and Hospitals Consumables Management Agency aims to increase access to high-quality health services for its citizens by ensuring the constant availability of basic health care commodities across all its health facilities. The distribution of these commodities to the health facilities across the State will be channelled through a distribution network to be handled by NSDHCMA.

The Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (ARC_ESM) will continue to support this partnership by ensuring both parties adhere to the terms of the MoU.

The MoU signing was witnessed by the MD/CEO SKG Pharma Ltd, Dr Okechukwu Akpa, the Chairman/CEO Drugfield Pharmaceuticals, Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo, the MD/CEO Bentos Pharmaceuticals, Pharm. Julius Ishola, the acting CEO Phamatex Industries Ltd, Pharm. Innocent Nduka, the MD/CEO Mopson Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Pharm Michael Oyebanjo Paul, the CEO ARC_ESM, Azuka Okeke, the Niger state lead/CHIPS lead at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Jasmine Jones, the Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, Pharm Frank Muonemeh, and other representatives from the six local pharmaceutical companies involved in the partnership – Drugfield Pharmaceuticals Limited, Bentos Pharmaceutical Products Ltd, SKG Pharma Limited, Mopson Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Phamatex Industries Limited, Fidson Healthcare Plc.