A CALL TO PROVIDE VISIONARY, IMPACTFUL & ETHICAL LEADERSHIP TO THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF NIGERIA (PSN)


I am thankful to God for the honour of presenting myself for service as the President of our professional association, come November 2018.


ENTRY INTO PHARMACY
I am a 1976 graduate of Pharmacy from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). At the University I was once the National Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS). I did my internship at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu and my compulsory National Youth service at the General Hospital in Yelwa-Yauri in present day Kebbi State

Mazi Sam I. Ohuabunwa
OFR, MON, FPSN, FNAPharm, FPCPharm, NPOM
PROFESSIONAL CAREER
I joined Pfizer Products Plc in July 1978 as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative (PSR), became Area Manager in 1980, National Sales Manager in 1982, Group Sales Manager (Pharmaceutical & Animal Health) in 1985. I was appointed Marketing Manager in 1989 and invited to the Board as Pharmaceutical Division Director in 1990, rising to become the Deputy Country Manager in 1992. I peaked in my career when I was appointed the Country Manager for Nigeria and Regional Manager for Pfizer West Africa in 1993. By 1994, I became Chairman of the Board of Directors as well as the Managing Director/ CEO.
  
I continued in this position till 1997, when I led the Management through a Management Buy Out (MBO) scheme to acquire the 60% shareholding of Pfizer Inc in Pfizer Products Plc, changed the name of the resultant company to Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc. I led Neimeth through its transition and post acquisition challenges to become a full-fledged Nigerian R&D based Pharmaceutical Company. I voluntarily retired in 2011 after 33 years in the industry, 18 years of which were at the CEO Level.
  
PRIVATE SECTOR LEADERSHIP 
During my years as CEO, I combined my responsibilities with that of leading segments of the private sector. I was at different times, Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ikeja, President Business Club (BCI), Ikeja, President Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), President, Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) and Chairman, the Nigerian Economic Summit (NESG). In all these positions, God granted me the grace to complete my terms creditably, leaving behind strings of legacies.

  
PUBLIC/NATIONAL SERVICE
In addition to my long years of work in the Private Sector, I have had exposures to the working of the Public Sector. I was Chairman, Governing Council, Abia State Polytechnic, Chairman of Board of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, and currently Chairman, Governing Council of the Abia State Public - Private Partnerships and Investment Promotion Agency.

I served on the Boards of the Federal Manpower Board and the National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER); was a member of the Governing Council of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), member of the National Stakeholders Working Group of the Nigerian Extractive Industry and Transparency Initiative (NEITI). I was a member of both the Vision 2010 and 2020 committees and participated in the National Political Reform Conference in 2005. I have served as a member of several Presidential Committees and Councils, some of which were the Presidential Steering committee on the Global Economic Crisis (2009), Presidential Committee on the review of Tariffs & Fiscal incentives (2009/2010), Presidential Advisory Council (PAC -2010/2011), and the Presidential Committee on Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P, 2012-2015)

For my long and meritorious service to the Nation, I have had the privilege and Honour of receiving three National awards: Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 2001, Officer of the Order of the Republic (OFR) in 2011 and recently (May 2018) I received the National Productivity order of Merit (NPOM)award.

SERVICE TO PHARMACY
I have been an active member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and supported the society and its professional and interest groups since graduation. Throughout my career I participated in several activities and was member of several delegations that worked to promote the interest of the Profession and the Society. I have delivered the National conference key note and have presented key notes at several State and Professional group conferences
.

I was Editor of the Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy and latter became the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal and Chairman of the Editorial Board, during which I served in the National Executive committee (NEC) of the Society. I was the Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee of the Kaduna National Conference in 1992 when our icon Prince Juli was the President of PSN and Past President Yaro Budah was Deputy President and a member of the CPC.
  
I particularly had the privilege of serving as Chairman of the Board of Fellows of our great Society, succeeding Fellow Adeleke and once again serving in our Society's National Executive Committee (NEC). It was during my tenure that the BOF instituted its endowment program that supports Pharmacy Education & Research in our Universities.  Additionally, I have served the Pharmaceutical Industry as Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of MAN (PMG-MAN) and was the Founding President of the West African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (WAPMA).                                                                                      
For my active participation and service in the profession and its activities, I have been severally honored by the Society. I received the Merit award of Lagos State PSN (1993), Award of Excellence by PSN Enugu (1994), Eminent Persons Award of the Nigerian Association of Industrial Pharmacists (1996), Professional Excellence Award, of the Association of Lady Pharmacists (1997), Award of Excellence of PSN, Ebonyi State (1999), Icon of Pharmacy by the National Association of Industrial Pharmacists (2011). I was honoured with the Fellowship of the Society (FPSN) in 1994 and have been invited to the prestigious fellowships of the West African Post Graduate of Pharmacists (FPC.Pharm), and the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (FNAPharm). I am the life Patron of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS) National and have supported PANS yearly since graduation in 1976.

WHAT IS MY MISSION?
From my brief profile provided above, it is clear that I have been exposed to the highest echelons of the Nigerian Society and Economy - Public and Private. I have garnered tremendous experience in advocacy, institutional management and governance and I have built networks across the length and breadth of our Nation and the West African Region.
  
It is my desire, if the society agrees and God permits to place this wealth of experience at the service of our Profession. It is a well-known fact that in spite of great past achievements our Profession is still not getting its due recognition and reward for its great contributions to Nigeria's Health care and the economy. I intend to build on the work done by our past leaders to take the image, Prestige, recognition and reward for our Profession to the next level. Isn't it troubling that in 58 years history of our Nation, only once has a Pharmacist been made the Minister of Health. It is humiliating to see Medical doctors appointed as Ministers of Health, Ministers of State for Health and sometimes Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Ministry of Health to the exclusion of other health care professionals.  The same humiliating situation is prevalent in many States. It is baffling to me why the Federal and some State governments refuse to grant the consultant Status to Pharmacy Professionals who are Fellows of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists and have other relevant professional qualifications and experience. I intend to mobilize all forces - human & Divine, to break the obstacles and limitations, resulting further in the creation of sub-specialties such as Paediatric Pharmacy, Geriatric Pharmacy, Obs & Gynae Pharmacy, Oncology Pharmacy etc. for our hospital (clinical) Pharmacists.   

Our practicing environment remains unsatisfactory. Despite the progress made, the environment remains suboptimal and stifling.  There is therefore the subsisting need to intensify advocacy to effectively sanitize the environment to make Nigeria conducive for professional pharmaceutical practice. We must bring quackery to a halt and fully enthrone the Pharmacist at the centre of all pharmaceutical activities. All those who have no genuine or legal business in the industry must be routed out. The place of the Pharmacist in drug production, distribution, drug retailing and drug dispensing must be assured and unencumbered, particularly the government approved National Drug Distribution System must first be enforced and necessary improvements made in the future. Perhaps Prof Fola Tayo's Nigerian Pharmaceutical Commission (NPC) idea will give us the pedestal to pursue these objectives. We will begin as soon as possible to pursue this through a Private Member's Bill in this 8th National Assembly. Pharmacy needs to be practiced in Nigeria as it is done in developed societies so that our colleagues in the diaspora (including our Children) can come home and fit into the practice environment.
    
For so long, the Nation has paid lip service to the need to be more self-reliant in local production of medicines and other healthcare consumables. The National Health and Drug policies have indicated that we should have achieved 50% of self -sufficiency in essential medicines by 1995 and 75% local production by the year 2000. But it has been mere wishes and all talk. With my experience in the Industry, I intend to work with the Industry and push at all ends to ensure, first, that the Public sector gives dedicated attention to local purchase and to make the operating environment more conducive to big ticket investments by both local and international investors in domestic manufacturing. We will advocate for a more stable and consistent policy environment to make more investors transit from importation to local production of essential medicines. And we must work to protect such investments by getting pharmacists to be at the topmost policy levels. And in doing so we must increase true value addition by a deliberate and strategic collaboration between the Academia and the Industry. The Industry must challenge the academia with specific problems and pay for the provision of the solutions. In the end, both sectors will be empowered and self-reliance and self-worth will be enhanced across the professional value chain.
    
We need to expand our reach and open new visitas that will create new opportunities for the profession and increase our relevance in community practice. Can we do more in disease prevention? Vaccination?  Paediatric Nutrition? etc. We must seek new opportunities for Global cooperation with international institutions 
  
It is intriguing that non-pharmacists seem to be prospering in the Pharmaceutical business while many pharmacists are barely able to make decent living. This is a travesty. I intend to impanel a team that will generate ideas on what we need to do to empower pharmacists, especially the young but also the elderly to obtain maximum benefit from their practice. We will focus a lot on the Young Pharmacists from Internship to full and gainful employment. They must be saved the agony of running from pillar to post searching for a place for internship or leaving school with no future in sight. Pharmacists must be proud to identify themselves as pharmacists and reap the benefits of their professional calling as much as those business men and women who have made genuine and legal investments in the Industry and related services. Pharmacy must be made to work for all pharmacy professionals. Full stop! 
  
Borrowing from my experiences in NECA where we started and completed the NECA Plaza within four years of my Presidency without borrowing and at the NESG where we raised the funds and started the process of acquiring an office property during my four-year tenure as Chairman or at the Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce where we bought a piece of land during my tenure, I will mobilize the Pharmaceutical Industry which I have had the privilege to lead at both National and Regional levels and indeed the entire Organized Private Sector, which again I was once the Leader, to support the current effort to build the Pharmacy House in the commercial capital of Nigeria, Lagos. Our nearly century-old professional organization deserves such a befitting centre that will also help to improve our Financial self-reliance and sustainability. We will also seek partnerships and creative funding schemes to pursue the Abuja project.
  
Finally, I intend to bring visionary, mature ethical and God- fearing leadership to our Society.  We plan to run a robust consultative, democratic and inclusive governance style that will identify and use the best resources that abound in our Society to serve the interest of the profession. We shall accord all professional arms and interest groups within the Society their due respect and honour without fear of favour. We shall build a happy family of professional Pharmacists where Justice, equity and fairness will prevail. And as stewards, we shall be accountable and by the grace of God leave the Society more prosperous, more united and better equipped than we met it. 

I thank you all for the honour to be considered for this important assignment at this critical juncture in our professional journey. God bless you all

Mazi Sam I. Ohuabunwa OFR, MON, FPSN, FNAPharm, FPCPharm, NPOM 

Comments

  1. You have my support Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa. Pharmacy profession will surely benefit from your level of exposure and wealth of experience.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

IS INEC REALLY PREPARING FOR SUCCESS OR FAILURE?

THE GROWING MISERY INDEX OF NIGERIANS AND THE SEARCH FOR GOVERNMENT Nigerians readily point out what Governments ought to do which they are not doing. Indeed, virtually every problem in Nigeria is blamed on the government. And for many Nigerians, the government to be blamed often is the Federal government. Many are oblivious of the other tiers of government, especially the local governments. It is as if the local governments have no responsibilities or may be the people have come to expect little from them. The many years of over centralization fostered on the Nation by the military now makes most Nigerians think and act as if the Federal government is the only government in Nigeria. The 1999 Constitution sustains this misnomer by granting the Federal government a long exclusive list and the freedom to dabble into every other matter, some of which should better be left with the traditional councils in the states. This has led many Nigerians to allow the local and State governments get away with With 'blue murder' while holding only the federal government to account,even if feebly. While it is justifiable to blame government for poor infrastructure, poor education, poor healthcare, high unemployment, high insecurity, and even for hunger, corruption and traffic hold ups, it is beginning to look to me that this is an orchestrated ploy by some Nigerians to take a permanent flight from being held responsible for our individual and group conducts. In the first place, the governments we blame so frequently for failing us are run by Nigerians. Indeed the irony is that some of those who blame government for everything are in government themselves! Sometimes, it looks like that there is a mystery man called 'government'. But no, government is no mystery man, but a collection of persons who are first citizens and who run the government on behalf of and for the good of all the citizens. For convenience, they are grouped into the EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATURE AND JUDICIARY. And that includes politicians, civil servants, public servants, professionals and non professionals of all cadres and categories; from cleaners,security men and permanent secretaries to ministers; from legislative aids to the House Speaker and Senate President; from the court bailiff to the Policeman, to the Registrar and to the Supreme Court Judge; from the gatemen to the Director Generals of Parastatals and Agencies, they are all constituent parts of the government, agents of the State. And that's why they are paid from the tax payers money.Every action, each one of them takes or omits to take reflects on the effectiveness or in effectiveness of the government they are part of. But it looks to me that this realization does not exist sufficiently. Some how, you get the impression that the President or the State Governor alone is the government and everybody else is either the governed, observer, bystander, supporter,complainant or critic. Perhaps this may explain why there is a woeful failure of the"government " to satisfy the expectations of Nigerians. It is practically impossible for only the President to satisfy the 170 million Nigerians or the Governor to satisfy all the over 12 million people in Lagos for example. Everywhere you go,you meet people who work in the government institutions who act as if they care very little about the success or citizen perception of the government they serve in. When you complain about the poor service you are getting,the same people who are part or agents of the government turn around to blame the 'government', absolving themselves of any blame and often the complaining citizen seems to either agree or empathize with the government employee that the problem is with the mystery ' Mr Government ' Early this year, I wanted to make a trip to the United Kingdom and applied for the UK Visa. Few days after submitting my visa application, I received a call from the British Embassy that there was no space left in my passport to affix the visa. I quickly collected my passport and ran to the passport office in Ikoyi Lagos to get a new one. It took me six visits to the passport office over a period of six weeks to collect a new passport.Reasons ranged from missing file to long queues, mismatch of finger prints, the absence of the engineer and late approval from Abuja. It was an ordeal. Mean while I missed the trip to the Uk and was almost missing a trip to the USA because my subsisting US visa was in my old passport which had been 'quarantined' in the passport office. At the end of this rigmarole I was still expected to show 'gratitude' In August last year, I went to renew my driving license and I was told to fill out forms and make payments. Thereafter I was asked to come back one year after in July this year at the FRSC camp in Ojodu, Lagos for what they called 'capture'. I wondered why it would take a year to come for the 'capture'. I was told that many people were on the queue and their 'capture' equipments were few. I was told that a photocopy of my form on which the July date had been written would serve as my temporary driving license until that date. I shook my head and left. On the assigned date and at the stipulated time of 7am, I arrived. First, it took a lot of pleading to let me drive in through the gate. With one year scheduling, I had expected few people but was shocked by the large crowd milling around the place. I moved from place to place and after several hours when I arrived in front of the 'capture' machine, I was told that my name had not dropped. 'From where ?' I asked. I made three other visits over a period of five weeks, because either, my name was still traveling from wherever to the 'capture' machine, or because there was no 'network' to capture me. I finally got another temporary driving license. And so I will have to return to Ojodu in 60 days when it expires or wait to be called to come and collect the permanent driving license when it is ready and who knows how many more trips that will take, because I saw People who had been called to come and collect, and they came, only to be told that the license was not yet ready. I do not know of any other country in the World where citizens are subjected to this kind of torture just to obtain a driving license. When my son-in-law heard my story, he sympathized with me because he went through an 'agent' and got his with ease! I suffered the same fate in trying to renew my plate numbers as demanded by FRSC. I have completed my registration for the National Identity card at a special unit set up by the National Identity Commission at an interaction in Lagos. I was given a temporary National Identity card. I do not know when I will get the permanent one. Now I have been asked by the Central bank to go to my bank and obtain another Universal identity card. I do not know how many trips I will have to make to obtain a temporary card before I struggle to get the permanent one. I will still go for my voters card and do biometrics and for my Pension, another set of biometrics and identity card. How many Identity cards is a normal law-abiding Nigerian expected to carry?.Why the National identity card can not suffice for all these is what I am asking. I am searching for Mr Government to ask him, because that is what I am asked to do. Can't these government agencies and officers who are asking for these many identity cards share information ? Or is it the fault of Mr government ? Why do we relish in making life difficult for fellow Nigerian citizens and then blame government. Any where Nigerians are to receive service from a government agency, the story of misery and denigration of human dignity is repeated. Who is government? What can be the problem? Is it a matter of lack of a compelling vision, or lack of motivation, or lack of empowerment or plain lack of commitment. What ever it is, I believe that something must be done urgently and in a holistic manner to remedy this anomaly which is creating a lot of problem for the citizens in Nigeria. The unnecessary suffering to which Nigerians are subjected to at every point can not continue this way. What is worse is that the pains intensify when people are doing their best to obey the laws and be responsible citizens. This backlash may seem to promote deviant behavior or corner cutting. Some are 'compelled' to 'settle' police on the highway than go through the torture of trying to get a driving license. All those who are part of government at all levels will need to undergo a fresh orientation to make them understand that point, that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. That Government is not about a single person but a chain of persons who deliver service to the Citizens and that the best President or best Governor will achieve little if all other parties are not playing their roles with the same efficiency and consistency. The leaders of our Governments must therefore take appropriate initiatives on building this consciousness in all persons in government. For empowerment and motivation, the leaders must ensure proper skilling up and motivation of all those involved in the governance process. The right persons must be put in the right positions to ensure the integrity of the chain.For commitment,the leaders must demand evidence of performance down the line. This must be measured and rewarded so that the unskilled for the assignment, the unprepared and the indolent are weeded from the system, so that the impact of good governance can be felt by citizens leading to improved quality of life and the reduction of the misery index. It seems this is perhaps the most critical responsibility of the leaders of the different tiers and arms of government and may actually be the differentiating characteristic of the effective government leaders. Sitting at the capital and hoping that all the 'beautiful' policies, projects and programmes are yielding the desired result will not do. If those who are part of government are blaming the government,one can then understand why some other Nigerians make a past time of blaming government for every problem. If the gutter overflows, it is the government that must be blamed and nothing to do with the citizens who throw pure water satchets and sundry rubbish into the gutter. When the road is blocked, it is the government and nothing to do with the indiscipline of citizen drivers who refuse to give way to each other. In those Countries that we admire and aspire to be like, most Citizens regulate themselves and accept responsibilities for the good order of the society, thus allowing the regulatory enforcement agencies to effectively contain the few deviants. If everybody is a deviant, no government can effectively manage public order. That is my point and it does not in any way absolve the government in power from its statutory responsibilities. There is a role for the government and there is a role for the citizen. Any dereliction on either side will create problems for the society, just as we are having,Period. Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa OFR

RACISM, ETHNICITY AND TRIBALISM .... What's the difference?