By Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis ——
Sequel to an appeal from the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to the Federal Ministry of Education to prevail on the National Board for Technical Education Board to scrap the Pharmaceutical Technology Diploma Programmes in polytechnics, the National Association of Pharmaceutical Technologists and Pharmacy Technicians of Nigeria (NAPTTON) has chided the society for making such remark.
In an official statement signed by its President, Alhaji Yusuf Hojapa, NAPTTON declared that such programmes are still needed in the country.
It would be recalled that the PSN had frowned at the initiative of the NBTE offering of diploma programmes in Pharm Tech during its annual general meeting at the 85th annual national conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State in November last year.
Among other things, the conference strongly urged the Federal Ministry of Education to immediately direct the NBTE to stop such programmes which PSN believes could introduce new dimensions in quackery in drug distribution as is already being witnessed in some Southern States in Nigeria.
In an official communiqué released to the media, the pharmacists emphasised that the “Conference found it necessary to draw the attention of the Federal Ministry of Education to statutory powers of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria to regulate pharmacy practice and training in all aspects and ramifications in Nigeria.”
Consequently, the PSN is calling for a total scrapping of the programme on the grounds that pharmaceutical technology is a postgraduate specialty in universities.
Hojapa however disagreed with the notion. He insisted that pharmaceutical technology programmes operate freely in Ghana and other countries, adding that it was surprising that the NBTE was planning to do them.
The NAPTTON appealed to the Minister of Education, Prof. Rukkayat Rufai, to disregard the suggestion to scrap the programmes, adding that the programmes would rather advance pharmacy education and practices in the country.
“We at NAPTTON condemn the recent call that Pharmaceutical Technology Programme being anchored by NBTE be stopped by the Minister of Education.
“Pharmaceutical Technology programmes (ND/HND) operate freely in Ghana and other climes, hence one wonders why any group should pull woods on the face of the distinguished Minister of Education who is well-informed about developments internationally,” he said.