Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), have lauded the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country after a medical vacation of about 100 days in London even as they asked him to appoint Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The pharmacists in a statement issued by the PSN President, Pharm Ahmed Yakasai and the society’s National Secretary, Pharm Gbologade Iyiola in Lagos yesterday, particularly expressed delight that the President looked fit, hale and hearty on his return.
Buhari returned home on Saturday from three months of medical leave in Britain where he received treatment for an unspecified ailment.
They said Buhari’s good looks was an eloquent testimony of good care and of course a self imposed determination to shake-off all vagaries of ill health by a passionate President.
According to the them: “It is therefore most apropos to return all glory and honour to the creator for divine intervention in arresting the hitherto sliding health of Mr. President while also wishing him a full complement of robust health grounded in wellness and vitality.”
While urging Buhari to urgently appoint DG of NAFDAC, the pharmacists however noted that the pharmaceutical sector was particularly hard hit without an array of salient appointments at NAFDAC , Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).
They explained: “The major condition precedent in the build up to the appointment of the DG of NAFDAC remains the proviso in Section 9(1) of the enabling act which states inter-alia “there shall be appointed for the agency by the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces on the recommendation of the Minister, a Director General who shall be a person with good knowledge of pharmacy, food and drugs.”
“This position of the enabling Act was subjected to appraisals by the Federal Ministry of Justice in the year 2001 prior to the appointment of Late Prof Dora Akunyili the second DG of NAFDAC and a frontline pharmacist who once worked with President Buhari in his capacity as Chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) when Prof Akunyili was a pharmaceutical consultant.
“It is imperative to also put on record that the pioneer Director General of NAFDAC – Prof. Gabriel Osuide,FPSN,FAS was a globally acclaimed pharmacist and researcher in the sciences.”
The pharmacists went on : “We hasten to add that expertise in drug and food matters is also exclusive to a registered pharmacist by virtue of his training. This is why pharmacists in tandem with global best practice are described as experts in drugs.
“It is also apt to add that in terms of the regulatory processes in a core regulatory agency like NAFDAC, only a pharmacist has a jurisdiction as a regulatory officer in all the core mandate areas of pharmacy, food and drugs.
“By virtue of Section 5 and 6 of PPA Cap 535 LFN 1990, only a pharmacist can be appointed a pharmaceutical inspector to regulate pharmacy practice, while by virtue of the Food and Drugs Act cap 150 LFN 1990 (as amended) pharmacists can be appointed as Food and Drug Inspectors to fulfill the totality of the NAFDAC mandate.”
In terms of evaluation of structures in the health system, the pharmacists pointed out that a vital component remains appointments in some of the .regulatory agencies and some other strategic organs in the health sector.
PSN also requested the President to constitute the governing council of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development and the Boards of Federal Health Institutions to boost efficiency and entrench competency in the health sector.
“The health system must be revitalized in line with the progressive strides being recorded in the development of infrastructures in road and rail construction amongst others in our country” they added.
Eid-El-Kabir: 70 trailer loads of Lake rice arrive Lagos
In an effort to ensure even distribution across all the sale centres, the Lagos State Government on Wednesday said that at least 70 trailer loads of lake rice have arrived the State ahead of the commencement of sale on Thursday.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau, who spoke to journalists, said government had made adequate arrangement to ensure that Lagosians willing to purchase Lake rice could do so without much hassles.
“This present administration has made the necessary logistics in place. Trailers are coming into the State with the rice. As we speak, there are over 30 trailer loads in Lagos, by Friday it would be about 40, by next week it would be up to 70 trucks and even after the Sallah period, there would be more coming into the State,” the Commissioner said.
According to him, the rice would be on sale across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas, saying the decision was to ensure that residents got the product without travelling far distances.
He said the rice would also be available at LTV Blue Roof Complex, Agidingbi, Ikeja, while the prices still remained the same as N12, 000 for 50kg bag, N6,000 for 25kg and N2,500 for a 10kg bag.
“There is going to be even distribution of Lake Rice and that’s why we are using all the Local Governments and the Local Council Development Areas.
“This will ensure wide distribution of the product to as many people who want it. we have made arrangement for the rice to continue to come into the State, so there is no need for panic buying or any form of rush, just go to your Local Government or Local Council Development Area, you will get it to buy,” Suarau said.
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]Suarau, who affirmed that the sale of the product would commence on Thursday, said the State’s Agricultural Development Authority Complex in Oko-Oba, Agege, would flag off the sale while other Local Governments Centres would follow suit.
“The Local Government and Local Council Development Areas are the grassroots. Our target is the residents at the grassroots. I may be able to afford rice for N18, 000 or N20, 000 but some people may not be able to do so. Last Christmas, if not for the Lake Rice, some people would not have eaten rice and you know rice is the main food for Christmas,” he said.
The Commissioner also expressed optimism that with the up-scaling of the Imota Rice Milling Plant from 2.5 metric tons to 16 metric tons per hour, expected to be up and running by next year, the production of Lake Rice would be done in the state to ensure availability of the product all year round.