FG’s Debt to Pharma Companies, Crippling Health Sector, Says Usifoh

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-As PSN Set to Hold Presidential Inauguration Feb 10

FG's Debt to Pharma Companies, Crippling Health Sector, Says Usifoh
L-R: Pharm. Felix Ndiukwu, PSN publicity secretary; PSN President, Prof. Cyril Odianose Usifoh; and PSN National Secretary, Pharm. Gbenga Falabi, at the media briefing.

The President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Prof. Cyril Odianose Usifoh, has decried the state of comatose the huge debt the Federal Government through federal medical institution, is owing pharmaceutical companies has plunged the Nigerian health sector, as many pharmaceutical manufacturers are now shadows of what they used to be, with the health of many Nigerians at stake.

Usifoh, who confirmed that the debt runs into billions of Nigeria, disclosed that the PSN has received a document containing the amount, while they are presently crosschecking the figures with tertiary institutions to ascertain the actual amount before the Society commences dialogue with government.

“We are in receipt of documents where debts owed by government are documented. We are crossing examining the figures to establish the certainty of the amount from the tertiary institutions. We are discussing with our colleagues particularly those in the hospital. If we are able to confirm that, then we will take the necessary steps in approaching government, so that government through its agencies can pay what they owe”, he submitted.

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The PSN helmsman made this disclosure on Wednesday while announcing the forthcoming Presidential Inauguration and Investiture ceremony of new fellows which comes up on Thursday 10th February hold inauguration ceremony of PSN President, Pharm. (Prof.) Cyril Odianose Usifoh and Investiture of 112 new Fellows of PSN, on Thursday 10 February, 2022, at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja by 6pm.

In a press conference heralding the ceremony, he said the inauguration will be chaired by Pharm. (Dr) Dere Awosika, and it will also feature the decoration of past presidents of the Society.

Usifoh, who seized the opportunity to hint pressmen on his activities since his assumption of office, spoke further on the debt file of Federal Government to pharma companies: “You know if you owe such lump sum which runs into billions as we learnt, pharmaceutical companies will be starved of funds and they won’t be able to produce as they ought to, and it will affect you and I as Nigerians.

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“So if we are able to ascertain the amount, we will dialogue with the government so that the agencies can start paying off their debts. If the debts are paid, then pharmaceutical manufacturing can be revived again”, he quipped.

While appreciating the Federal Government for the COVID-19 intervention fund of about 100 billion naira, which he described as an encouragement to local manufacturing, he said more of such initiatives are needed in the industry.

He highlighted the issues the Society will be focusing on in the next couple of months to include: Improved relationship with government, both executive and legislative arms, to ensure the right of every Nigeria to pharmaceutical care; institutionalizing the PharmD  programme, establishment of the National Post-Graduate College of Pharmacists to complement consultancy cadre agenda, and improve visibility of pharmacists and pursuit of the Pharmacy Tower project as well as all other businesses  that concern PSN”.

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In addition, the new President of PSN assured all of an inclusive administration, admitting that he is lover of team work where duties are delegated where necessary and monitored for improved implementation.

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