The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has tasked stakeholders from various sectors of the economy, to proffer ways of accelerating development of the pharmaceutical sector, through research and development.
He made the appeal at the presidential inauguration of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Health Engagement Education Access Discourse (HEEAD) on Monday in Abuja.
The discourse had “Developing a Robust and Comprehensive Policy to Catalyse Pharma Industrial Development: Setting the Agenda for the Next Level” as its theme.
The vice president, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Abdullazeez Mashi, said that the expansion of the pharmaceutical sector would ensure national growth, prosperity and address new challenges in the health sector.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration made appreciable progress in the healthcare sector, but there were still significant barriers to quality healthcare provision to the population.
He added that “this important meeting by NIPRD is coming at the right time when the present administration has taken several steps toward the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.
“This discourse should therefore focus on expanding the local content value of the nation’s pharmaceutical sector for national economic growth and prosperity.”
According to him, this can be achieved through strategic innovations to achieve the unmet targets of National Drug Policy and address new challenges in the health sector.
Dr Obi Adigwe, the Director General (DG) of NIPRD, said that the conceptualisation of NIPRD-HEEAD was a direct response to the institute’s mandate to collect, collate and analyse data.
Adigwe said that the approach would ensure robust and comprehensive engagement with seminal and topical issues in a manner that was contextual enough to expeditiously impact on the health of Nigerians.
He noted that the approach would make significant impact on relevant socio-economic variables, while prioritising job creation, knowledge transfer and revenue generation.
The director general said that the discourse would provide platform for researchers to engage the industry, while also being acquainted with its needs and expectations.
He assured that the approach which engage stakeholders, policy makers, such as the Executive and Legislature, to improve governance, better communication and more reactive policy making.
Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, representing Kwara Central Senatorial district, commended the director general over the giant strides achieved in the institute.
He reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to support the institute.
He, therefore, urged the discourse participants to come up with implementable initiatives which would move the sector forward.
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