There was widespread excitement at the Indoor Hall of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Complex, venue of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), as Pharm. Simon Okey Akpa, managing director, SKG Pharma Limited, was announced new chairman of PMG-MAN.
The event, which had Pharm. N.A.E Mohammed, the newly appointed registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) as guest of honour, was also witnessed by notable personalities in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, including Chief Bunmi Olaopa, immediate past chairman of PMG-MAN; Dr Steve Onya of Chi Pharmaceuticals; Dr Fidelis Ayebae of Fidson Healthcare; Mr Nnamdi Okafor of May &Baker Nigeria; Mr Emma Ekunno of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc; Mr V. Verghese of Jawa International; Mr Abbas Sambo of Swiss Pharma Nigeria; and Chief (Mrs) Lamide Adegbenro of Topway Pharma.
In his acceptance speech, Pharm. Okey Akpa expressed his appreciation to God, as well as members of the group, for their support and confidence in him.
Speaking on behalf of all the newly appointed members of the executive, Akapa said, “We consider it a privilege to serve PMG-MAN and there is no doubt in our minds that our group being the strongest and the foremost stakeholder in the pharma industry has been made possible as a result of the hard and dedicated work of our past leaders; and it is our intention to sustain the legacy that has been laid by them.
“A lot has been achieved by our past leaders in this industry but we believe there is more to be done. So, it is our intention in this new management committee to look at all the challenges confronting the industry and to find ways through which we can surmount them. In doing so, we shall employ our areas of expertise, starting from upholding the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice, which is the hallmark of our industry, and following it to the highest standard that is possible. The new executive committee will also ensure that we continue with the tempo and spirit of the outgoing leadership.”
Speaking further, the SKG Pharma boss urged his fellow executives to imbibe the spirit of selflessness which, according to him, is the only way the Nigerian pharma sector can develop and become one of the best in Africa and the world, at large.
“I am convinced that Nigeria, as a country, has the potential to lead the rest of Africa in pharmaceutical manufacturing, but we need a very conducive environment to do that and it is our duty to create that environment. So I, as the chairman, with the help of my wonderful team and with the help of God, will be committed to the mission and vision of this group, while we seek your cooperation and prayers, so that, together, we can take PMG-MAN to greater heights,” he said.
Earlier in his handover speech, Chief Bunmi Olaopa noted that the mandate, which the PMG-MAN bestowed upon him four years ago, had afforded him the opportunity to be of service to the pharmaceutical industry and the pharmacy profession as a whole.
He also used the opportunity to urge the new leadership of the group to continue to consolidate the efforts of the outgoing administration in promoting innovation, ethical practices and healthy partnership with all stakeholders, relevant regulatory agencies and international associations.
“PMG-MAN has consistently upheld the tenets of Good Manufacturing Practice as the cornerstone of the industry, and promoted the culture which ensures documented proofs that correct procedures are consistently followed, every time a product is made, while recommending that self-regulation and good manufacturing practice audits, capacity building and good manufacturing practice workshops be sustained,” said Olaopa.
While appreciating the sacrifices of the members of the outgoing management committee and their respective companies for the progress recorded during his administration, Chief Olaopa called on the new management to ensure that the biennial Pharma Expo which, according to him, had enhanced the image of the country and created a platform for exchange between pharmaceutical manufacturers and business partners worldwide, was sustained. He also recommended that the PMG-MAN Building project be prioritised, saying the group deserved a befitting secretariat and training centre.
In his speech, Dr Fidelis Ayebae, managing director of Fidson Healthcare Plc., expressed confidence in the leadership ability of Pharm. Akpa, adding that the new chairman was one of the committed and capable senior pharmacists left in the industry.
Dr Ayebae further noted that Akpa’s experience and success as the MD of SKG Pharma was an added advantage and would assist him in paddling the canoe of the group.
“Aside coming in as a new chairman, his ideas and support were instrumental to the success of the outgoing administration; now that he is at the helm of affairs, there is no doubt that he will, as well, bring those ideas to the fore of his administration,” Ayebae enthused.
Other members of the newly elected executive committee of the PMG-MAN include: Pharm. Emma Ekunno, 1st vice chairman; Mr V. Verghese, 2nd vice chairman; Pharm. Abiola Adebayo, Treasurer; Pharm. Abbas Sambo, financial secretary; Pharm. (Mrs) Nkeiru Okoro, assistant financial secretary; Prince Degun Agboade, publicity secretary; and Chief (Mrs) Lamide Adegbenro, auditor.
Others are Dr Fidelis Ayebae, Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo, Mr Julius Ajufo, Mr S.D Ashwin, Pharm. Steve Onya and Pharm. Nnamdi Okafor; all ex officio members.
Members of the newly elected executive committee of PMG-MAN with the outgoing chairman, Chief Bunmi Olaopa (sixth from left) and Pharm. (Mrs) Amaka Okafor, who represented the Registrar, PCN, at the end of the annual general meeting of the group held in Lagos recently.