Mon, 15 Apr 2024

National Chairman of NAIP, Pharm. Ken Onuegbu giving his welcome address

NAIP COAL CITY 2023: Towards Achieving Medicines Security in Nigeria
By: Cletus Sunday Ilobanafor
Wed, 12 Jul 2023   ||   Nigeria,

The Coal City State of Enugu, the capital of Old Eastern Region of Nigeria was agog from 5th - 8th July, 2023 with a memorable season as the giants, Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP) held its 26th Annual National Conference.

The conference tagged: "The Role of the Pharmaceutical Industry Towards Achieving Medicines Security in Nigeria," played host to diverse distinguish groups with giant pharmaceutical stakeholders, healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers, and representatives from different sectors.

The event centre was at the serene place of Carton Swiss Grand Hotels, with a welcome cocktail party hosted by Juhel Pharma Ltd on the evening of 5th of July 2023 which participants will not forget in a hurry.

The Executive Governor of Enugu State, His Execellency, Dr Peter Mbah was ably represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Agujiobi who officially declared open the 26th Annual National Conference.

In his welcome address, the chairman of the conference, HRM Igwe Oranu Chris Chidume congratulated NAIP for the eventful conference. He commended the manufacturing sectors for managing to cope in the unfriendly atmosphere which he said is presently not conducive for operation. He however encouraged them to take advantage of the challenged to explore all opportunities. He assured them that the huge population of the country translates to market for their products in Africa at large.

The Royal Father also used the opportunity to appeal to government agencies to declare a state of emergency in the infrastructures to help boost the economic and development. The Igwe also implored the government to readdress the issue of multiple taxation which he said is of no positive effect to the manufacturers.

The National Chairman of NAIP, Pharm. Ken Onuegbu, was gratefully thankful to participants for attending the roundtable conference which he said is of immense importance for the health of the citizens. He said the right to drugs and medicines is a fundamental human right for access to safe, effective and affordable quality healthcare. He harped on the significant roles the pharmaceutical industries is playing which he said is pivotal to our healthcare delivery. "The pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria has made significant strides over the years. We have witnessed advancement in research, development, manufacturing and distribution of essential medicines." While challenging the practitioners of the industry to ensure highest standard ethics and drugs, he also urged stakeholders to collaborate by fostering partnership and innovations to grow the industry.

The National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. Prof. Cyril Usifoh, was also at hand in the event. In his remark, he extolled NAIP for making the pharmaceutical sector proud. He commended the conference to be well organised to suit the purpose that the pharmaceutical industries desperately need. Osifoh further called on stakeholders to leverage and synergize in the sector so that pharmaceutical sector can harness her potentials to the fullest. He assured of the prospects in the sector which he said are enormous.

The Keynote Speaker of the day, Pharm. Prof. Sabinus Ofuefule is of the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Industrial Pharmacy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In his lecture, he harped on the roles of the pharmaceutical industry in the economic development of the nation, placing emphasis on local content of drug manufacturing in Nigeria. He opined that the importation of drugs stands as a threat to the pharmaceutical industry as it does not only share the huge market of Nigeria but also give room for fake drugs. While calling on government to lead in execution of policies on medicines security, he also called on stakeholders in the pharmaceuticals to rise to the occasion as they have what it takes. He stated: "all that we need to do is to place value on what we do and on ourselves."

Pharmaceutical company representatives were also at the conference for presentation of their products, brands, and latest innovations. Such company include: Swiss Pharma Ltd; FABTECH Technologies; PBR Life Science, AFRIHealth; GMP Machine and Packaging Ltd, and Sproxil.

The conference also provided for master class session 1 with notable speaker in the industry. Pharm. Kunle Oyelana, MD/CEO Glaxosmithline taught on the new growth formula for pharmaceutical manufacturing in Nigeria. The session 2: Attacking and retaining contract or toll manufacturing: givers and receivers perspectives was handled by Pharm. Yetunde Adigun of Swiss Pharm.

The well-tailored conference also provided for panel discussion session with Prince Chijoke Ofomata of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University as the lead discussant; to discuss further on the challenges and share ideas to grow the pharmaceuical sector. Panelist discussants include: Prof. Ikechukwu Onyishi of the epartment of industrial pharmacy, UNN; Pharm. (Mrs) Grace Ifeanyinwa Ohiaeri, director, PCN, South East; Pharm. Valentine Okelu, ED, sale, M&B; Pharm. Gerald Oputa, MD Neimeth Ltd; and Pharm. Ekene Aguolu, MD/CEO ECOMED.

One of the high points of the 26th Annual National Conference of NAIP was the 3rd Edition of NAPA/NAIP Collaborative Award which the sum of Two Million Naira was given to Dr Chukwuemeka Paul Azubuike of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Techonolgy, Faculty of Pharmacy , University of Lagos

CEOAFRICA recall that Award was instituted in 2019 based on a memorandum of understanding between the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) and Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP).

This is an Award geared towards encouraging collaboration between the academia and the industry. The best product-oriented proposal is selected.

In a chat with CEOAFRICA , the National Chairman of NAPA, Dr Ezekiel Olugbenga Akinkunmi said “I love the way the Conference was organized. It was business like. There was no room for time wasting or any unnecessary distractions from the core concept of the Conference. The plenary Sessions were apt and the depths of discussions show that the topics really addressed the needs of participants. The Opening Ceremony was a typical example focus.”

Participants at the conference while speaking with CEOAFRICA commended the organisers of the event to have done a great job. Pharm. Amaka Nwankwo said it is wonderful to be part of the event because every moment offers something great.

Pharm Patrick O Ajah , MD/CEO of May & Baker Nig Ltd said the conference was top notch and called on policy maker to work with local manufacturers as a matter of urgency for medicine security in Nigeria .

Pharm. Gbenga Falabi, National Secretary, PSN, described the conference as informative and innovative. He congratulated the executives and participants who he believed had gotten new innovative information to take home and build on.

Pharm. Chinwuko Gloria, NAIP Chairperson in Delta state commended the programme as educative and worth attending. Another participant, Chioma Duru said it is wonderful to be in the conerence. She harped on the focus and analysing of the challenges militating against the sector and the possible action plan to proffering solutions. Pharm. Emaka Okpana, NAIP Chairman Anambra State also commended the conference as valuable and timely for the sector. While urging participants to go and apply what they have learnt, he also called on absent pharmacists to always attend pharmaceutical conferences to learn more of the growing profession.

Sir Pharm. Bankole Ezebuilo, Vice chairman of NAIP and and MD/CEO of KAYHELT PHARMA made a good assessment of the conference as one that has given much to the participants. While lamenting the frontier challenges of drug security, he called on government to work closely with NAIP and other pharmaceutical agencies to regulate drug movement and security across the country by making policies that are favourable to the sector. While commending the association for engaging government agencies like customs to regulate price mechnism, he also assured government of viable contribution to the GDP and job creation if an enabling environment is created.

The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria held her Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election which had Pharm Ken Onuegbu FPSN led Executive returned unopposed.

The AGM also praised the effort of the National Executive for unprecedented achievements.

The eventful conference also recognised notable stakeholders in the sector who have contributed immensely to the growth and development. Such were singled out for honour and conferred with NAIP 2023 Excellent, Distinguished and Merit Awards accordingly. These towering pharmacists include: Pharm. Bambe Muyiwa, Director of Tuyil Pharmaceuticals Industries; Pharm. Igweobi Anietom, A. C. Drugs Limited; Pharm. Ajenifuja Folusho of Sagar Vitaceuticals Nigeria Ltd; Chief (Pharm) Adekunle Ademola, sales/marketing director, Evans Therapeutics Ltd; Osele Patrick Okwudili, CEO of Pemason Pharmaceuticals Ltd;Pharm. Patrick Ajah, MD/CEO, Mayer and Baker; Dr. Ifeoma Edeh, CEO/MD Sidom Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Ltd.

Behind every succesful conference, there must be committed organisers who work to its success. Pharm. Charles Ajibo, chairman, conference planning committee alluded the smooth flow of the conference to his dedicated team member and the executives of NAIP. He said they gave him the enablement to succeed by providing for necessary needs on time. The master of ceremony, Pharm. Joseph Ebirim (aka. DR Spyce) must be mentioned for his eloquence and humour.

The 26th NAIP Conference has come and gone with focus on the challenges of medicine security and the action plan or roadmap to resolving the many issues in drugs and medicines; and sharing latest innovative ideas and development; with solutions to boost the healthcare sector. It is a rich and successful 2023 NAIP Conference which engaged the challenges of the pharmaceutical sector. As we look forward to another opportunity of the conference in 2024, we hope to see the action plans in place.


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