By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has charged Nigerian pharmacists to take advantage of the Presidential Executive Order 5 to go into drug production.
He also called for a review of curriculum on Pharmacy to ensure that pharmacists are well trained and equipped to be able to manufacture drugs to reduce drug importation in Nigeria.
Onu, who spoke at the conference organized by the Nigeria Association of Pharmarcists in Academia on Tuesday in Abuja, expressed concern over the high volume of drug importation in the country, saying that with the implementation of the EO5, outsourcing of laboratory tests and importation of drugs will be history.
He noted that the nation’s economy must be knowledge and innovation driven adding that once the country starts production of what it needs, it will create jobs and improve the economy.
As part of efforts to ensure full implementation of the EO5, the minister said henceforth, all foreign researchers must seek clearance before embarking on any research work in Nigeria.
He said: ‘‘Government through the Executive Order 5 wants to ensure that all the things being imported into the country in large quantity are produced in Nigeria.”
“We can’t be importing our drugs and still want to compete globally; we want to reduce drug importation. It is important you see how you can help revise the curriculum on pharmacy to ensure that pharmacists are trained to become entrepreneurs,’’ he added.
Also speaking, the President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, said the association considered the issue of drugs as a national security, hence, the aim of the conference to look at the issues of affordability and accessibility of drugs in Nigeria.