Nigerien Govt honours Akunyili
Niamey – The government of Niger has honoured Prof. Dora Akunyili with “International Active Woman Trophy” (TIFAA NIGER) for her role in the regulation of drugs in Nigeria.
The award was part of activities by the Nigerien government to mark the International Women’s Day.
The award was presented to her by the First Lady of Niger, Dr Issoufou Malika.
Malika, who was represented by Diabu Asimi, the Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Niger, noted that Akunyili’s fight against counterfeit medicine greatly improved the lot of women and children.
The First Lady observed that prior to Akunyili’s appointment as the Director-General of NAFDAC, women and children were worst hit by the menace of counterfeit drugs.
Other recipients of the award came from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Togo and Niger Republic.
Responding, Akunyili, who was also the immediate past Minister of Information, expressed her gratitude to the government and women of Niger for the award.
She said that the award came four years after the end of her tenure as NAFDAC boss.
She expressed delight the country appreciated Nigeria’s efforts to combat counterfeit medicine, which she noted had also impacted other West African nations.
“I am very happy, especially since this award is coming over four and half years after I left office as the Director-General of NAFDAC.
“It makes me feel good that people are appreciating the work we did in Nigeria. I pray God will give me life and good health to continue working not just for the good people of Nigeria, but for Africa as a continent.
“Part of why I was nominated is because I worked hard for the West African Sub-Region, when drug counterfeiters were chased out of Nigeria, they started migrating to other West African countries.’’
The former NAFDAC boss said: “I called drug regulators from all over the region and inaugurated the West Africa Drugs Regulatory Network (WADRAN)’’.
“It is a platform for regulators to ensure that these criminals, these merchants of death do not find a safe haven anywhere in West Africa when they are thrown out of Nigeria.’’
She noted that the work NAFDAC did during her tenure, had influenced Niger “to honour me and honour Nigeria in this special way.
“Whenever, I am honoured, it is not just me, it is Nigeria as a country. I am here for the country, I am here for NAFDAC men and women that put in everything to make me succeed.”
Akunyili advised women to work hard wherever they found themselves, so that they would be appreciated.
She said that when awards were given, it was not to glorify a person but rather should serve as a motivator for such a person to work harder.