The Federal Government has expressed concerns over continuous brain-drain in the country particularly in the health sector. The government said it had concluded necessary arrangements on its new initiative to ensure that all graduate pharmacists across Nigerian universities are put on a central database.
According to the federal government, this would minimise the issue of non-vacancy for internship placement for fresh graduate pharmacists, unemployment and brain-drain which has become the order of the day in the country. The newly-appointed Registrar of Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Babashehu Ahmed, disclosed this during the weekend in Abuja at a ceremony organised in honour of his predecessor, Elijah Mohammed by the Association of Pharmaceutical Products Marketers of Nigeria (APPMAN). “We have so many initiatives such as by way of central placement of internships. But when we are talking about central placement, we are not trying to put the entire burden on the government.’’
He explained that efforts to bring all stakeholders in the private sector on board, particularly APPMAN, which employs a large percentage of Pharmacists in the country, would be intensified. “We also want to see the situation where we bring in the initiative where our stakeholders, particularly people within the private sector, contribute to the centre a little and then the government augments it. It is not like what we have in NYSC – a situation where the government mobilises everybody and pays for everybody. If you are taking up an internship for training, which of course you must have been duly accredited, and found worthy to have the necessary facilities and personnel to train, then you contribute. Instead of you paying the entire salaries of the intern, you contribute to the basket. And by the time we have a pool of contributors to the basket, you will realise that we have so much, that the government only needs to top it up a little, and we will be in the centre to ensure that we monitor and coordinate,” he said.
The PCN boss also threatened that any pharmaceutical outlet operating in the country without due and necessary registration with appropriate authorities would be sanctioned. He added: ‘’We will intensify the enforcement activities to ensure that those who are not registered are not included. And that those who are registered are also encouraged, because when you encourage those who are doing the right thing, it is just natural that everybody will want to come on board.
“We want to expand the database of our stakeholders who are our clients. The only way we can do it, is to ensure that we have a good number of those stakeholders within the fold of regulations. And when we have them, and we continue to intensify our inspection and monitoring activities, and also continue to sanction those who are not registered, we will be creating appropriate environment for them to thrive.’’
National President of APPMAN, Afolabi Nurudeen, noted that the association was doing everything possible to ensure none registered company with PCN is allowed to sell drugs in the country. He also explained that since members of the association are not allowed to dispense drugs, they are operating within the precinct of the law by engaging qualified pharmacists in the area of drug dispensing.