In its quest to ensure that members have access to consistent power supply, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), has taken a bold step by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Simba Power, a subsidiary of Simba Group, for the provision of affordable and quality power products to community pharmacies nationwide.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU at the Simba Group Corporate Head Office, Lagos, the National Chairman, ACPN, Pharm. Wale Oladigbolu, said the end goal of the agreement is to ensure that retail pharmacists continue to provide topnotch services to the communities they serve, especially with regard to the storage of sensitive products, as it is crucial for community pharmacies to have constant power supply.
“So we have signed this agreement with them to the extent that pharmacists can sign up for 1.5 KVA, 3 KVA and 5 KVA solar generators, such that with stable power supply, cold chains of sensitive products are not broken, which is important to us, and whenever routine immunisation comes to community pharmacy, we also know that this is an essential key provision as its one of the key infrastructural demands for community pharmacists in Nigeria.
“Energy cost has gone up, and that’s one of the push factors for us to sign this agreement, also the price of petrol and diesel have gone up. Secondly, if we must protect the environment, we have to look for alternative means of generating power that would not pollute the environment. Thirdly, one of the most important pushes was the fact that it will affect the profitability of our members positively. However, the last push factor was the fact that we want vaccination to take place in community pharmacies and to do that they must be able to provide adequate storage facilities for the vaccines”, he said.
When asked about its affordability, Oladigbolu noted that the initial cost may appear big, adding that the association has provisions to accommodate everybody. “We have two categories of inverters in terms of battery, and in each of these two categories we have three subcategories, the 1.5 KVA, which is the lowest for about a million naira, although it appears expensive, what the association intends to do is to break down the cost so that the huge sum does not come out of our members pocket.
“We are rendering innovative solutions to the issue of the cost and by virtue of that we would be able to put things in place to absorb the initial shock of the cost. We are critically looking for banks that could give us huge sums of money to procure in bulk and if we succeed, we can spread the money for our members” he noted.
On his part, the Power Business Head of the company, Mr Ravi Srivastava, noted that Simba Power is the leading name in Nigeria’s power solutions landscape, adding that the strategic partnership with the ACPN is rooted in a shared commitment to enhancing the well-being of Nigerians by providing pharmacists with reliable power solutions, in order for them to consistently serve their communities.
He said ACPN has a vast network of pharmacists working across Nigeria, while Simba has adequate experience in the field of sales and distribution of power products like inverters, batteries, solar panels, solar inverters, and other ancillary products procured from world-renowned manufacturers, adding that the company established in 1988, is a leading conglomerate in Nigeria, operating in various sectors, including agriculture, alternative energy, and more.
Speaking further, Srivastava said the motives behind the partnership is to power pharmacy retail stores across Nigeria, saying the relationship between power and medicines preservation is directly proportional, especially in the areas of vaccines and insulin.
He added that with the partnership, Nigerians should expect quality and efficacious healthcare products as a result of appropriate storage temperature supplied by uninterrupted solar power from Simba Power.
“Nigerians can anticipate improved health services as a direct outcome of this partnership. By ensuring that pharmacies have access to reliable and uninterrupted power through our solar solutions, we are enhancing the ability of pharmacists to serve their communities effectively. This means citizens can expect consistent access to safe medicines and vaccines, which is paramount for better health services and outcomes across the country”, he said.
Also speaking, the Senior Manager, Simba Solar, and key account manager for the healthcare sector, Mr Ochai Adejoh, noted that the collaboration is basically about Simba Power powering healthcare services in Nigeria through the ACPN, which is a vital organ of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), adding that Simba Group has cultivated a good reputation over the years as a leading company in more than one sector of the economy.
While lauding the agreement, the National Secretary, ACPN, Pharm. (Mrs) Omokhafe Ashore, noted that community pharmacists in Nigeria can benefit significantly from procuring solar power to run their operations, as it is a reliable and sustainable source of electricity, reducing their dependence on the often unreliable national grid.
“This can lead to cost savings in the long run by lowering electricity bills and minimizing disruptions in power supply, ensuring medicines and essential medical equipment remain properly stored and operational. Additionally, embracing solar power aligns with environmental sustainability efforts and promotes a positive image of the Pharmacy as an eco-friendly establishment” She said.