Posted by News Express | 4 June 2016 | 2,943 times
The Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria has raised the alarm that a large chunk of pharmacists in Nigeria usually run into trouble at old age because they do not have retirement and succession plans due to a combination of factors.
The regulatory organisation which said pharmacists do not have saving culture, also warned that severe punishments and sanctions, including a minimum of five years imprisonment and N10 million fine awaits any pharmacist who indulges in professional misconducts and other sharp practices when the new amended law takes effect.
“I expect them to be able to plan and look ahead, you are not supposed to consume everything you have, but to save. If you don’t have a saving culture, by the time you are supposed to be relaxing, you will still looking for what to eat,” the Registrar/Chief Executive of PCN, Nurudeen Elijah Mohammed, said.
He made these revelations in an interview during the inauguration of Abuja Pharmacists Elders Forum led by Alhaji Abdulrahman Momodu.
Mohammed said: “The major challenge facing Nigerian pharmacists is economic challenge, health challenge and social challenges and these are the basic challenges they normally come across. The reason there is that most of them don’t have retirement and succession plans. For those of them who are in business, they lack the succession plan and because they don’t plan very, well the end becomes a disaster.
“But sometimes, it may not be their fault; the economic environment and political environment could be a major challenge to them, because I remember a colleague who was based in Maiduguri. The policies of government, practicing environment and the regulatory policy could also affect them. It is a cocktail of problems.”
According to Mohammed, although there are no clear-cut statistics, his over 30 years of practice have confirmed that pharmacists don't have saving culture.
“Majority of them don’t have succession plan because the average African man really do not have succession plan. It is either because their children are not in the same practice or they don’t have full confidence on those who are working with them. They therefore believe that the business is not going to continue,” he emphasised.
To address the situation, the PCN Chief Executive, stressed that the regulatory agency was putting in place and encouraging Nigerians to come together and have what he described as “Chain Pharmacy.”
He explained thus: “Chain Pharmacy is a practice when different Pharmacies will come together, may be three to ten of you can come together to form a Limited Liability Company which will now be separated from individuals.
“So, even at your early age you, can come together to put it in place and then it starts growing. It will be a corporate entity, even if I am ageing, the corporate entity will continue, then you will be able to enjoy your old age while your money is still working. We are pursuing it through the legislature, and in our new law that is coming up, there is a concept for Chain Pharmacy.
“The new law will address the lapses of the old law and it will not be business as usual and the change mantra of this government is in place. Jail terms have increased, files has increased. Some jail terms are five years, while some can be fine of between N5 million and N10 million depending on the gravity of the offence.
“The new law will follow the change mantra of the government and things are going to change for good. Corruption is not only in the political arena, corruption is also in other sectors and those that are doing that will not go unpunished.”
•Photo shows, L- R; Director, Ama Health Consultants, Dr. Bode Adeoye; Chairman, Abuja Pharmacists Elders Forum, Alhaji Abdulrahman Momodu; Director of Pharmaceuticals, Health Management Board, Alhaji Munir Elelu and Director-General, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Prof. Karniyus Gamaliel, during the inauguration of APEF in Abuja.
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