Pharmacists Professor Cyril Odianose Usifoh, President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)
Pharmacist Professor Cyril Odianose Usifoh, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), is no doubt a house hold name in Nigeria health care system as he works day and night to ensure that Nigeria wins in the fight against Drugs Abuse.
Stakeholders have applauded the no 1 citizen of Pharmacy in Nigeria for his outstanding leadership in shaping and front-lining the pharmacy profession in Africa.
Professor Usifoh took the world by surprise when he successfully organized one of the best conference in the history of pharmacy in the world where the policy makers comprising of, the whole Executive, Legislature and the security chiefs of Gombe State where all in attendance for the 96th conference of the PSN, which was tagged "The Jewel City 2023." The conference, with the theme "Pharmacy Practice: A Pivot to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria," took place at the Gombe International Conference Centre, Bauchi Road, Gombe State, from October 30th to November 4th, 2023.
The event, which spanned six thrilling and eventful days, was unprecedented in the history of professional bodies in Nigeria. It witnessed the presence of almost all state executive officers, from the governor to his deputy, as well as their wives, commissioners, and all security outfits in the state, a feat which no other professional bodies in the country had ever pulled. This showcase of unity and support for the PSN conference was remarkable and historic.
The conference commenced with a two and a half-kilometer health walk, led by the state's First Lady, Asma'u Mohammadu Inuwa Yahaya. The health walk attracted a massive turnout of government officials and dignitaries who warmly welcomed the gathering of pharmacists for their annual conference.
The second day featured the grand opening ceremony at the world-class Gombe International Conference Centre. The event was graced by the State Executives, including Governor Mohammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who delivered a welcome speech. Also present was the Deputy Governor, Dr. Manasseh Daniel Jatau, who delivered a keynote lecture on the conference theme. His Royal Highness, Chris Oranu Chidume MON Eze Anaukwu, added color to the occasion as the chairman of the opening ceremony among other royalties present.
In His welcome address, the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharmacist Professor Cyril Odianose Usifoh FPSN, who structured his address on three major contemporary issues, namely; impending doom and collapse of regulated drug supply chain, drug revolving fund needed for sustainable redress and Infusing renewed energy into pharmacy education for an impactful future, appreciated the government and good people of Gombe State for the warm welcome accorded to the Pharmaceutical society of Nigeria and its members, the gesture he described as uncommon, maintaining that it will go a long way in the minds of pharmacists making the post conference a huge success.
Usifoh said he was encouraged by the level of commitment from the State Government under the leadership of Governor Inuwa Yahaya, expressing readiness to partner with the state in the fight against drug abuse and other related crimes to ensure a healthy society.
The governor of Gombe State, His Excellency, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON while declaring the conference open said that his administration’s is ready to partner with Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN towards actualizing his administration’s ultimate target of providing quality healthcare services for all citizens of the State.
The third day of the conference was dedicated to clinical and ethical presentations, lectures, and workshops. Facilitators and others were present to address various clinical and operational issues. The event was followed by insightful questions and discussion sessions.
In the evening, a dinner party was held where everyone enjoyed themselves, and some individuals were awarded for their contributions to the pharmacy profession.
Day four saw more exciting presentations, including a plenary session chaired by two past presidents of the society, Dr. Azubuike Okwor and Pharm. Sam Ohuabunwa, while Air Commodore Babalola and Professor A. Akanmu served as the panelists. The panelists tackled doctrinal and regulatory issues related to the society. The day also featured a Pharmacist Town Hall meeting and presentations of manifestos from candidates contesting for various positions in the national executive council of the society.
Day five showcased presentations from pharmaceutical companies and their products, followed by technical group meetings and the Annual General Meeting (AGM). During the AGM, an open ballot system was used for the electoral process to appoint new national executives, excluding the president, as he had one more year left in his tenure. The incumbent executive was dissolved, and the new executives were commissioned.
The conference concluded on day six with a closing ceremony which was hosted by the Executive Governor, His Excellency, Mohammadu Inuwa Yahaya which mirrored the grandeur of the opening ceremony. It was once again graced by almost all the Executive members of the Gombe state government and royalties. The Jewel City 2023 conference was undoubtedly a pleasant and awe-inspiring experience for members of the PSN.
In an interview with CEO Africa, accolades and praises poured in like rain for the brilliant organization of the conference by Professor Cyril Odianose Usifoh, the President of PSN. His exceptional leadership and dedication to the pharmacy profession were praised for bringing about such a successful and impactful event.
Past PSN President, Pharm. Azubuike Okwor, emphasized the moral duty of the government to prioritize the health of the people as a fundamental right. He further commended the leadership qualities of Professor Cyril Usifoh .
Dr. Adekunle Tometi, President- Elect of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA), advised Professor Cyril Usifoh to build capacity for the betterment of the pharmaceutical profession in Nigeria.
Pharm John Ike Ugwu, Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacare Support Group, commending the leadership qualities of Professor Usifoh, urged him to continue his good works.
Pharm Ezeh Ambrose Igwekamma pharm Ezeh Ambrose Immediate Past National Secretary of ACPN describe the conference as fantastic and best National conference of PSN so far. He called Professor Usifoh as a man of great vision and an achiever.
Pharm Uwaya John, PSN Nasarawa state secretary said Professor Odianose Usifoh is a father figure to so many pharmacists and he urged him to continue mentoring upcoming pharmacists for a brighter future.
Pharm Dr olubusola olugbake described the conference as world classm she urged the president to continue the good works.
Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, Chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) Lagos State Chapter expressed joy at Professor Cyril Odianose's contributions to pharmacy education and urged him for an increased recognition of pharmacy in universal health care coverage.
Pharm. Anderson Tony, Chairman of ACPN Akwa Ibom, also praised Professor Cyril Odianose's efforts in putting the PSN at the forefront of healthcare and revealed that he had been his supervisor for his master's degree project.
Pharm. Abasiama Uwatt, Chairperson of PSN Akwa Ibom State, described Professor Cyril as an infectious leader and she reiterated the readiness of Akwa Ibom to host the next edition of the conference.
Pharm. Duke Otite, past Chairman of ACPN Edo State, advised the president to advocate for a consultancy cadre at the federal level.
Pharmacist Dr Monica Hemben Eimunjeze ,formal Director of Registration & Regulatory Affairs for NAFDAC , Pharm Shakirat Adeosun and Pharm Charles Aigbona displayed exceptional qualities in anchoring the historic conference .
Prominent figures in the pharmaceutical field, including Pharm Dr. Elijah Mohammed and Pharm Dr. Okafor, urged him for more emphasis on awareness campaigns, mentorship, research, and collaboration among African pharmaceutical bodies.
In his closing remarks, President Professor Cyril Odianose Usifoh expressed gratitude to everyone, including the organizing team, led by the Chairman of CPC , Pharm J Valentine Okelu, Managing Director/CEO Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals plc for their fantastic job despite the challenges faced. He also expressed his appreciation for the support of the Gombe state government officials and the presence of HRH Chris Oranu Chidume MON, Eze Anaukwu. He promised to utilize the remaining year of his tenure thoughtfully to pass the baton to a capable successor who will continue the progress made during his tenure.
Dignitaries at the Historic occasion are, Past PSN Presidents Pharm. Azubuike Okwor, Pharm Olumide Akintayo, Pharm Ahmed I Yakasai, Pharm Pharmacist (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, Pharm Dr. Teresa Isichei Pounds President/ Founder of WASPEN, Pharm Margaret Ilomuanya, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics, University of Lagos , Nigeria ,Pharm Prince Wale Oladigbolu , ACPN National Chairman , Pharm Pharm. Kenneth Onuegbu, NAIP National Chairman, Pharm Dr Joseph Madu, CPAN National Chairman, Dr Ezekiel Olugbenga Akinkunmi, NAPA National Chairman , Pharm. Scholastica Mnena Lan, National Chairman Association of Lady Pharmacists, Pharm John Ike Ugwu and many others