Contrary to the perception of some pharmacists, on the low performance of the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, since his assumption of office on 3 November 2018, he has rolled out a list of visible results, achieved during his six months in office.
Top among the list of his achievements was the halting of the passage of the National Association of Pharmaceutical Technicians and Technologists of Nigeria (NAPTON) Bill, which was aimed at setting up a different regulatory agency outside the PCN.
Ohuabunwa noted that the bill would have posed the greatest danger to the Pharmacy profession. “But by the grace of God, we mobilized resources in conjunction with the PCN, the Federal Ministry of Health, several NGOs, including getting the support of the NMA to vigorously oppose the bill. I believe the bill is dead”, he said.
The PSN President, who was intimating members of the Lagos State PSN branch on his success so far, at their monthly meeting, also explained how he was able to mobilise support at the National Assembly, and with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) that a specific position should be created for a pharmacist in the Boards of Federal Medical Centres, instead of being lumped together under one representative of the healthcare professionals.
He further mentioned how he pushed government to approve inauguration of PCN Council, and how he halted the inauguration of the PSN Council, due to the principled opposition to the choice of the chairman. “It is on record that A.T. Mora is on the role of dishonour of the PSN and it is our position that Mora does not have the moral right to become chairman of PCN Council without first discharging this burden.
“It is our view that a man of impeccable character, integrity and a role model for pharmacists, who is in good standing in PSN should occupy this position. Our position is fully supported by all the past presidents (seven actually signed the petition with me). No single pharmacist should be allowed to hold the profession to ransom or ride roughshod over PSN, no matter his ‘famed’ connections. We have an unflinching responsibility and divine mandate to protect the moral integrity, image and prestige of our profession without minding whose horse is gored”.
The PSN president, interestingly noted that the missing PCN Bill has been found. ”We have followed up on this most critical PCN Bill since we came to office until we ran into a blind. We have now located the document and have recruited all the support we can find and pushing daily for its signing into law by the president before the end of his first term.
Some of his other achievements read in part: “We have pushed for implementation of the NDDG through the Federal Ministry of health, and PCN and met with the major stakeholders in Lagos and Onitsha and noted that the work on the CWCs has started.
“We have gotten more internship positions from pharmaceutical companies while working on central posting with the PCN and the Federal Ministry of Health.
“Gotten NAFDAC & PCN to review and resolve some complaints from pharmacists & regulated Companies.
“Gotten the Head of Service (HOS) to commit to releasing gazette on the Consultancy cadre for pharmacists, as soon the National Council on Establishments meets to take the report of the technical committee it set up last year to revalidate its earlier decision.
“Gotten the ANSG to reiterate its approval of N25 billion revolving fund for government hospitals and the establishment of a Pharmaceutical Park in Anambra State in collaboration with the NAIP”.
Aside the visible results, Ohuabunwa also hinted on the committees he has established to work for the progress of the profession.
He listed the administrative structures and task teams, which were up to ten in number, the statutory committees, and other committees.
On advocacy visits, he highlighted the strategic persons and offices he has visited to include: The Minister of Heath; Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF); Head of Service of the Federation(HOS); PCN; NAFDAC; NIPRD; Plateau State Government; Anambra State Government and National Assembly.