– ACPN lauds initiative
Grace Johnson Pharma Limited, one of the largest and fastest growing pharmaceutical and healthcare wholesale distribution companies, has commissioned a new outlet in Satellite Town, in Amuwo Odofin Area of Lagos State.
The colourful ceremony, which took place on 5 March 2019, witnessed a large turnout of pharmacists, mostly from the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Oriade Zone, as well as well-wishers and residents of the area.
In his welcome address at the event, Mr Johnson Agu Ekeh, managing director of the company, remarked that the commissioning of the ultra-modern outlet, which coincided with the 7th anniversary of the company, had opened a new page in the history of wholesale pharmacy in the area.
Reminiscing on the beginnings and objectives of the company, Ekeh said: “Our intention was to establish a pharmaceutical wholesale company that supplies branded generics and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals to a wide range of customers, including retail pharmacies, and institutional providers, such as hospitals, health systems, and other healthcare providers.
“The history of Grace Johnson Pharma Limited dates back to 5, March 2012, when a decision was taken between me and my partner, who is presently the chairman, board of directors, Pharm. Jude Elue, to establish a company, with focus on finding solution to the challenge of ineffective supply chain system, delay in delivery of pharmaceuticals, product hoarding, insufficiency of products, quackery and stiff market conditions imposed on pharmaceutical retailers.
“The need for us to further establish ourselves as a focus-driven company prompted the need to expand and move into this ultra-modern building you are seeing today. As a company, we are committed to the profitability and viability of pharmacies as well as provide support to maintain their positions in the industry. Our competitive edge cuts across efficient customers’ inventory and management, telephone-email-walk in and door-to-door order system.”
Ekeh further promised continued delivery of quality and efficient services to the people of the community and its environs, saying his experience in pharma industry, spanning over 27 years, coupled with the support of his highly professional and experienced staff would bring to bear in their service delivery.
According to him, his journey in the pharmaceutical sector began in 1992 when he started working with Seagar Pharmaceuticals, from where he moved to Mivero Pharmaceuticals. It was after this that he was moved to Sabiz Pharmaceuticals in the year 2000.
“I started as staff at Seagar, but I got promoted to assistant manager at Mivero, while I became the manager at Sabiz. It was at Sabiz that I met my partner and we both planned to start this place. So, to the glory of God, the result is what we are witnessing today,” he said.
Also speaking, Pharm. (Mrs) Obiageri Ikwu, financial secretary, ACPN, Lagos State, and former Zonal Coordinator, ACPN, Oriade Zone, noted that it had been a relatively short, but eventful journey for Grace Johnson Pharma, adding that it is quite challenging starting a business, especially a pharmaceutical business, in Nigeria, while urging the company to stay focused on making a difference.
“I must say that I am overwhelmed today and I don’t know how to describe the feeling I am having right now. Grace Johnson came into the zone seven years ago and today, they have become a household name, and with this edifice, it shows that hard work pays,” she said.
Speaking in the same vein, Pharm. Emmanuel Uchenna Amma, managing director, FMC Pharmacy, and PRO, ACPN, Oriade Zone, remarked that the opening of Grace Johnson Pharma holds the promise of a brighter future for the pharmaceutical profession, adding that the success was as a result of long term strategic plan.
In her submission, Mrs Grace Johnson, the wife of the managing director, and personal assistant to the MD, described the unveiling as part of the company’s expansion policy, adding that the success was achieved through efficient and innovative delivery of quality products and service that benefit the general public.
She added that the company remains passionate in achieving the its set vision.