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Niger partners local pharmaceutical coys to improve availability of essential medicines

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The Niger State Government through the Niger State Drugs and Hospitals Consumables Management Agency (NSDHCMA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies under the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), to ensure the uninterrupted supply of quality and affordable essential medicines to the citizens of the state.

The MoU signing ceremony for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) took place on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at the manufacturing facility of Fidson Healthcare Plc, located in Ota, Ogun State. This is the 3rd Public-Private Partnership between states and local pharmaceutical manufacturers facilitated by the Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (ARC_ESM) in the last two years; the other two states being Yobe and Kaduna.

The signing ceremony was followed by a tour of the facilities of two of the companies in the partnership facilities – Drugfield Pharmaceuticals and Fidson Healthcare Plc.

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The Niger State Government team was led by the wife of the state Governor, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello. Other key representatives from the state included the State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, the Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Health, Dr Mohammed Gana, the Executive Director – NSDHCMA, Dr Mohammed Audi, and other senior government officials from the Ministry of Health.

The Niger State first lady stated that she was elated to be present at the MoU signing ceremony. She affirmed the state’s readiness to work with the Pharma companies to ensure the supply of quality and affordable medicines to the people of Niger State and assured the companies that the state government would keep to the terms of the MoU.

An elated Commissioner for Health, Dr Mohammed Makusidi, remarked that the state government has shown its commitment to the success of the MoU as all the leadership of the Niger State health agencies were present at the MoU signing ceremony.

The pharmaceutical companies represented by the chairman of the PMG-MAN and the CEO of Fidson Healthcare Plc, Dr Fidelis Ayebae, appreciated the Niger State Government for keying into the partnership initiative while emphasizing the commitment of the local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to addressing the health agenda of the country. He applauded the State government for adopting the PPP model which promotes patronage of the Local Pharma Companies and commended the Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (ARC_ESM) for facilitating this opportunity.

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The Senior Program Officer, HealthGlobal Development from the Nigeria Country Office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Charity Chenge, opined that Nigeria can export its learnings from this PPP to other African countries on how to ensure the availability of health commodities at the last mile while managing the challenges and was delighted to witness the signing of the MoU with the Niger State. She commended the role played by ARC_ESM in facilitating this partnership.

Through this initiative with the local pharmaceutical companies, the Niger State Drugs and Hospitals Consumables Management Agency aims to increase access to high-quality health services for its citizens by ensuring the constant availability of basic health care commodities across all its health facilities. The distribution of these commodities to the health facilities across the State will be channeled through a distribution network to be handled by NSDHCMA.

The Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (ARC_ESM) will continue to support this partnership by ensuring both parties adhere to the terms of the MoU.

The MoU signing was witnessed by the MD/CEO SKG Pharma Ltd, Dr Okechukwu Akpa, the Chairman/CEO Drugfield Pharmaceuticals, Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo, the MD/CEO Bentos Pharmaceuticals, Pharm. Julius Ishola, the acting CEO Phamatex Industries Ltd, Pharm. Innocent Nduka, the MD/CEO Mopson Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Pharm Michael Oyebanjo Paul, the CEO ARC_ESM, Azuka Okeke, the Niger state lead/CHIPS lead at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Jasmine Jones, the Executive Secretary of PMG-MAN, Pharm Frank Muonemeh, and other representatives from the six local pharmaceutical companies involved in the partnership – Drugfield Pharmaceuticals Limited, Bentos Pharmaceutical Products Ltd, SKG Pharma Limited, Mopson Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Phamatex Industries Limited, Fidson Healthcare Plc.

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Confusion as security operatives exchange blows during Buhari’s Kaduna visit

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There was confusion when security agents exchanged blows while President Muhammadu Buhari was commissioning Kawo bridge in the heart of Kaduna state, city, on Thursday.

President Buhari arrived in Kaduna State to commission projects executed by the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

The projects are in Kafanchan, Kaduna and Zaria.

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Shortly after his return from Kafacnchan, the President commissioned the Kawo bridge.

However, an altercation among security operatives attached to the President and those based in Kaduna resulted in exchange of blows.

Trouble started when some operatives of the Department of State Services blocked the road to Kawo bridge soon after the President who mounted the bridge.

Governor El-Rufai, who had earlier alighted from his vehicle, rode in the President’s convoy to the bridge.

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The security agents, who barred journalists and other dignitaries from accessing Kawo bridge, blocked the road after El-Rufai and the President were on the bridge.

However, El-Rufai’s Aide-De-Camp insisted that the governor’s official vehicle must be allowed access.

Daily Trust reports that the President’s security aides stood their ground and this resulted in not just an altercation but exchange of blows.

Eventually, the governor’s vehicle was given access.

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Two die, five injured as truck crushes motorcycle in Cross River

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The Federal Road Safety Corps has confirmed the death of two persons in an accident in the early hours of Thursday in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State.

The Public Education Officer of the Corps in Cross River State, Mark Ajuka, confirmed the death of the victims in an interview.

Ajuka, a Superintendent Route Commander, told the News Agency of Nigeria that five persons were also injured in the crash that involved a truck and a motorcycle.

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He said that investigation revealed that the crash was caused by a brake failure from the truck driver.

He said: “The accident occurred early this morning in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River.

“The deceased have been evacuated from the scene of the crash, while those injured were taken to the General Hospital in Ugep for treatment.”

An eyewitness, James Eteng, told the NAN that the tragic incident occurred at St. Pius Primary School in Nko community.

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“Today is a black Thursday for us in Nko community.

“We have lost a son and a daughter in an accident that occurred this morning.

“As we speak, the whole community is in mourning mood, we can only console with the family to bear the irreparable loss.”

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