– Say project will help address
Key pharmacy leaders in the country, including the president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa; Pharm. (Sir) Nnamdi Obi, managing director, Embassy Pharmaceuticals Limited; and Dr (Mrs) Stella Okoli, chief executiv director, Emzor Group have tasked pharmacists in the country and beyond to invest in the construction of PSN’s much publicised ultra-modern Pharmacy Towers.
According to the eminent pharmacists, stakeholders in the pharmacy profession and other well-meaning Nigerians who wish to have their names written in the book of history must assist in building the proposed eight-storey edifice, which is estimated to cost N1.980 billion.
Speaking at the memorable flag-off and debenture ceremony organised by the PSN towards raising funds for the project, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said the occasion was a historic one because the dream of the forefathers of pharmacy in the country was being kept alive with the momentous ceremony, adding that the land was purchased in 1979, by the then president, Pharm. (Sir) Sam Agboifo, whose last wish before his death was that the building would become a reality.
He added that even though there had been several efforts by the past administrations before him to keep the dream alive, it had been difficult because the resources needed to build such a monumental edifice is more than the money realized from the members capitation fees and annual dues, saying at some points, the society ran into the hands of fraudsters.
“As we all can see, this is a prime place and it was well sought after, especially in a highly competitive area of Lagos like this, so it took the enormous efforts of the former president, Alh. Ahmed Yakasai, with the support of his predecessor, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, and other notable personalities, with the support of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Ridwan Akiolu, to retrieve the land back to us,” he said.
Speaking glowingly about the choice area where the land is located which is along the popular Church Gate Street, in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos, Ohuabunwa described the proposed Pharmacy Towers as a symbol of renewed glory for the PSN, saying the Towers will house a National Drug and Poison Information Centre, and Emergency Response and Research Centre, which would serve as centre for the fight against drug abuse and misuse, as well as resource centre for the pharmaceutical industry.
“The Pharmacy Tower project seeks to raise a Seven Years 20 percent per annum fixed rate debenture worth N1.98 billion through cooperative fund raising. Debentures are exempted from all forms of taxation in Nigeria in accordance with the Companies Income Tax Order 2011, the Value Added Tax Oder 2011, and the Personal Income Tax Act 2011, as amended. This implies that return made to holders of the debenture are clear of Income and Capital Gains Taxes at the Federal and State level,” he said.
He however assured that at the completion of the building, it shall be managed professionally outside the influence of PSN bureaucracy.
The PSN boss also noted that its proposed Pharmacy Tower, including an emergency response centre, will address the perennial issue of drug abuse and misuse ravaging the country, saying aside from creating jobs for both health professionals and lay personnel, the pharmacy tower will be pivotal in the fight against abuse and misuse of drugs and other harmful substances.
In his address at the event, an elated Pharm. (Dr) John Nwaiwu, chairman, Project Committee appreciated God who made the day a reality, adding that the verse of the country’s national anthem, ‘the labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain’, has manifested with the epic landmark the pharmacy profession is attaining with the ground breaking of the eight-storey building edifice which will house the secretariat of PSN, as well as Drug and Poison Information, Emergency Response and Research Centre.
Speaking further, Nwaiwu tasked all pharmacists in the country and beyond to commit a reasonable amount of their resources to fund the project by way of subscribing to the debenture scheme, adding that all investors, corporate and individual will have their names engraved in corresponding plaques which shall be displayed for posterity in the hall of honour of the Pharmacy Tower.
Nwaiwu noted that the construction of the building was estimated to take no more than 24-month from inception, adding that the tower project seeks to raise a seven-year 20 per cent annual fixed rate debenture worth N1.98bn through cooperative fundraising.
Also speaking, Pharm. (Sir) Nnamdi Obi, managing director, Embassy Pharmaceuticals Limited, and the Project Mobiliser for Pharmacy Tower, said the project was long overdue having acquired the land over forty years ago.
According to him, all pharmacists nationwide should identify with the project as pharmacy project because when completed, it would bring honour and glory to the profession, and as well make the practitioners proud.
Obi, who donated handsomely towards the Debenture, however described the effort to have the Pharmacy Tower as a step in the right direction, saying all stakeholders in the profession and other well-meaning Nigerians who wished to have their names written in the book of history should endeavor to support the PSN by investing in the Debenture towards raising the amount needed for the completion of the building, saying no amount is too small.
Also speaking, the duo of Dr. (Mrs) Stella Okoli, chief executive director, Emzor Group and Prof. (Mrs) Mbang Femi-Oyewo, chairman, Board of Fellows, said the project couldn’t have come at a better time, having acquired the land for about forty-one years ago.
Mrs. Okoli who also donated handsomely towards the Debenture, however tasked all well-meaning personalities and stakeholders in the profession to come together in unity and ensure the project becomes a reality within the project timeline, adding that Emzor will continue to support the project until it is finally completed.
Also present at the programme who also partnered with the PSN, where the National Secretary, PSN, Pharm. Emeka Duru; Pharm. (Mrs) Rosemary Nikoro, secretary, Board of Fellows; Pharm. (Mrs) Bukky George, chief executive officer, Healthplus Pharmacy; Pharm. (Mrs) Talatu Ebunne, former chairman, ACPN, Kaduna State; Sir. Ike Onyechi, chief executive officer , Alpha Pharmacy Nigeria Limited; Pharm. (Mrs) Yetunde Morohundiya, former national chairperson, ALPs; Pharm. Ade Popoola, managing director, Real Pharma Limited; Pharm. Samuel Adekola, national chairman, ACPN; Pharm. Tijani Yahaya, chairman, PSN, Niger State; Pharm. Chima Agnelius Ogbu, chairman, PSN, Rivers State; Pharm. (Mrs) Abiola Paul-Ozieh, immediate past chairman, ACPN, Lagos State; Mr. Santosh Kumar, managing director, WWCVL; Pharm. Tony Akhimien, former president, PSN; Pharm. Azubuike Okwor, former president, PSN; Pharm. Nike Adenuga; Pharm. Tope Bakare, chief executive officer, Medplus Pharmacy; Prof. (Mrs) Cecilia Igwilo; Pharm. Chris Ehimen, chairman, Nett Pharmacy; Dr. Ejiro Foyibo, first vice-president, PSN, South; Pharm. Ignatius Anukwu, national chairman, NAIP; Pharm. Isah Mohammed, YPG; Pharm. (Mrs) Ukamaka Okafor,