Objective opposition to and criticisms of government policies and actions, no doubt, is a vital tonic for national development and growth. It is a well tested thesis that a nation fares better when critics also acknowledge progressive and landmark achievements of the government, as well as come up with alternative ways to addressing challenges of governance, where and when necessary.
By Martins F.O.lkhiIae
Whatever discerning Nigerians feel about the shortcomings of the Transformation Agenda of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration, one truth remains incontrovertible: The successes recorded in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy since the economic paradigm came on stream have positively altered the perception of the world about the country. For example, the World Bank’s Doing Business in Nigeria 2014 Report has shown that the country has recorded significant improvements in its Doing Business Index within the last four years. Also just recently, the swiftness with which the Federal Government contained the Ebola virus disease (EVD) scourge that is still devastating some West African countries like Liberia and Guinea, has earned her plaudits from the international community. And lastly early in the year, a local pharmaceutical firm, Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited (Swipha), became the first in West Africa to World Health Organisation (WHO) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
This feat is attributable to the existence of a transformed indigenous health sector in which the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a pivotal arm. It is a truism that the sustainability of a nation’s progressive healthcare delivery system is anchored on reliable and dependable pharmaceutical sector. And NAFDAC, under the leadership of Dr. Paul B. Orhii, has relentlessly administered dynamic approaches towards boosting both the competitiveness and quality of our indigenous pharmaceutical industry in the global drug market. The philosophical underpinning of the policy thrust is to ensure Nigeria is less dependent on foreign pharmaceuticals through enhancing the quality of the local products, This way, it hopes to elevate the country’s status as Africa’s world-class drug exporting giant.
The NAFDAC leadership is going about this in multi-dimensional ways. The local drug firms get the necessary support to ensure they are globally competitive in the international pharmaceutical market, because Dr. Orhii, a seasoned healthcare expert and administrator, is conversant with the strictly compliable stringent standards of the market. Besides, the Federal Government has instituted a multi-billion naira intervention fund to provide soft loan facility for local drug manufacturers. The sole purpose of this is to make sure that finance does not stand in their way of meeting the WHO specified global standards.