By Hassan Zaggi
The Minister of State, Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, has charged the Governing Board of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to set standards for control, discipline and be accountable in their activities towards uplifting healthcare service in Nigeria.
Mamora made the call during the inauguration of the newly appointed board members of NIPRD, in Abuja.
The Minister stressed that: “Governing Boards are creations of statutes and their responsibilities are to give policy directions to management of institutes and in so doing, the principles of change, good governance and accountability in the affairs of health institutions must be adhered to as government expects no less from them.”
“NIPRD will be vital in making Nigeria benefit from the African Free Trade Agreement recently signed by the Nigerian Government through its contribution to the economy and national development.”
He, however, tasked the Board members to put measures in place to strengthen the resource base of the agency by increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of these resources in line with Financial Regulations (FR).
He urged them to acquaint themselves with the new policies, processes and procedures which have been introduced into the act of governance.
The Minister further warned them to be mindful of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s zero tolerance for any form of corruption.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi, expressed optimism that under the leadership of the current board, NIPRD will move the nation forward not just in terms of research, but also by using the research output to project what Nigeria will need to attain better health care system.
On his part, the newly inaugurated Chairman, NIPRD Board, Dr. John Alfa, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing them and vowed the commitment of the new leadership of the board to work together in line with set standards and rules to achieve the goals of the Institute.
Speaking, the Director General of NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe, disclosed that within the past 16 months, the institute has brought in new innovations to ensure speedy progress.
According to him, some of the innovations include the introduction of the NIPRD Specialized Internship Programme on Quality Control of Herbal Medicines for experts across West Africa in herbal medicine standardization and regulation – Maiden batch of two scientists from Burkina Faso were trained in September, 2019
“Developing an intensive backward integration plan to stimulate local production of excipients such as starch and cellulose, pharma inputs and other relevant raw materials.
“Initiating a comprehensive strategy on API manufacturing project with the NNPC
“Articulating a bottom-up inclusive National Pharma Strategy to ensure that Nigeria emerges as the continental hub for the sector at implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA),” he said.
Adigwe further revealed that NIPRD has been designated as Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) center for Foreign Trained Pharmacists Orientation Program in April, 2019 and also designated as one of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) Centers of Excellence/Reference Centers on Traditional Medicine Training and Research