The Vice President of Nigeria, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has charged participants at the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Health Engagement Education Access Discourse, held in Abuja, to focus on expanding the local content value of the nation’s pharmaceutical sector.
Professor Osinbajo gave this charge at the Presidential inauguration of the Discourse, otherwise known as NIPRID- HEEAD, theme: Developing a robust and comprehensive Policy to catalyse Pharma industrial Development: Setting the Agenda for the Next Level.
In his address, the Vice President, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdullaziz Mashi Abdullahi, said that in view of several steps taken by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage, expansion of the sector would ensure national economic growth, prosperity and address new challenges in the health sector.
Describing the discourse as timely, the Vice President also assured the Institute of Federal Government’s support in all its strides towards achieving its mission and mandate.
In his welcome address, the Director General (DG) NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe, said the conceptualization of NIPRD HEEAD is a direct response to the Institute’s mandate to collect, collate and analyse data as well as ensure its comprehensive and timely dissemination.
Dr. Adigwe stated that the approach would ensure a robust and comprehensive engagement with seminal and topical issues in a manner that is contextual enough to expeditiously impact on the health of Nigerians.
He noted that the approach would make significant impact on relevant socioeconomic variables, while prioritising job creation, knowledge transfer and revenue generation.
Adigwe stated that the forum would provide a platform for researchers to engage the Industry while also being acquainted with its needs and expectations.
He also assured that the approach which engages stakeholders, policymakers such as the Executive and legislature would improve governance outcomes, better communication and more reactive policy making.
In his goodwill message, the distinguished Senator, representing Kwara Central Senatorial district, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, commended the DG for giant strides achieved in the Institute.
While assuring the Institute of the National Assembly’s support, he urged the forum to come up with implementable initiatives which could move the sector forward.
A presentation, highlighting the challenges and barriers to catalysing Pharma Industrial Growth and Development in Nigeria was delivered by an officer from the United States Pharmacopeia (usp), Dr. John Alfa. USP is a non-profit organisation in collaboration with Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector.