Nigeria a country where regulators are revenue agents – Peter Obi


By Our Correspondent

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in last year’s general elections and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has described Nigeria as the only country where regulators have become revenue agents.

Delivering a keynote address during the 6th public lecture of the Board of Fellows of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (BOF-PSN) at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Obi said the ideal thing should be that regulatory bodies should be enablers for productivity.

He bemoaned the state of the nation’s health sector, lamenting that many pharmaceutical companies have left the country, thus making drugs very expensive for the poor, which is why most families have resorted to prayers.

He said: “In Nigeria, if you want to register a product, you have to beg NAFDAC which ordinarily should be begging you to produce locally. Here, it takes up to three years to register a product, while it takes between two and six months to do so in other countries.

” Those involved in importation even face harder times as they contend with obstacles in procurement, foreign exchange and uncontrolled inflation, which is the reason the cost of the imported products keeps rising.

“These are some of the things crippling the system and the major problem is that the leaders do not understand what they are supposed to do.

“That is why I say that unless we dismantle the criminal system, nothing will move forward. We need to focus on production.

“The problem on our hands cannot be solved unless all of us come together and say we cannot continue this way.”

Obi recalled how he visited a primary health centre in an outskirt of Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and discovered that there were 50 pregnant women in the hospital, with just one medical staff attending to them.

According to him, there are about 24,000 primary health centres in the country, but many of them are not functional.

“The allocation to health as contained in the current national budget is nothing to write home about. There is need to prioritize issues concerning health such that in addition to providing health insurance to all the citizens, there should be a deliberate policy by government to ensure local production of drugs and medicines,” Obi said.Chairman of the event, Igwe Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, described Peter Obi as a lone voice in an unstable society, noting that he is someone who stands for the truth at all costs.

He commended Obi for his strength of character, passion for the betterment of the nation, and commitment to doing what is right.

The chairman of the Board of Fellows, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (BOF-PSN), Dr. Joel Adagadzu, also praised the former Anambra governor for setting a standard of excellence in governance in Anambra State, stating that Obi’s achievements have become a legacy upon which others build.

“Your stellar performance in Anambra continues to be celebrated in the state.
Though I am from a different political party and I promised not to discuss politics at this event, I must acknowledge your great achievements.

“You are not only a nationalist, but a global personality. I am happy to be in Anambra State, and I appreciate you for leaving a legacy of excellence.”

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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