NIPRD: In the jaws of death

Lying in the womb of Idu Industrial Belt bulwark by thicket of forest now cut down by work of anti-climate managers is the once revered National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), although looking skeletonized, strip naked/wretched, denied of any sap of life like an orphan and a mangy dog: it is. The story of rejection and denigration are the tales of this once plum institute now told in moonlight amongst folks. When I first arrived the most promising/populous black nation in the world in the heart of Africa, Abuja, the Nigeria’s capital in the dying days of 2003 during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, (NIPRD) was the hub, beehive and gateway to research in the West Africa sub-region.

The dreams and clamour for research activities which lie within the purview of the institution made it the epicentre/centre of gravity through scholarship, learning and research. Even too, how to solving all tropical diseases including the malignant / intriguing case of HIV /AIDS ravaging millions was lying on the laps of the institute whose capacity was not in any doubt or a matter of local/international debates. Tragically, between the year in review through Yar’Adua-Jonathan`s leadership from 2007-2015 and beyond, the downward trajectory, the great fall to the nadir of the titanic, the Lion and Elephant personified in NIPRD became work of dust, the fall to ground zero level of the institute literally debases the very essence of its existence whose attire of a walking corps is not below any form of exaggerated emotionalism which now forms the very fibre of its life and DNA.

In the whole of 2018 I was in the facility to see for myself what was technically wrong in the management of the institute, the story, a sad one indeed. From the building that houses the manufacturing plant for extensive research purposes: the very heart, blood/jugular vein of the institute saw itself encumbered by overgrown weeds, vegetations and creepers. Below on the  sprawling, barren, wilderness of lands, rodents, iguanas, alligators, rabbits, mambas and birds chirping from tree to tree, other animals parade, ferret and taxing around in the mini-serengeti now untouched by human civilization. Beyond, the artistically bewitching/imposing twins building standing like a mad man, aloft, aghast and dejected, the paint work now an choate work of charlatans beaten by tropical harsh rains and scorching weather; inside the serpentine building, the fear of the multi-billion naira surgical equipment becoming moribund and obsolete or decrepit for lack of use due to aging process gnaw on every sane mind.

Besides the mammoth edifice, the horizontal sports complex fallen to the weight of primal cause, abysmal state of inertia with one side of the roof blown off by uncanny work of thunderstorm or an elemental force. But behind this ugly spectacle, the graphic picturesque of sharp contrast of the few workers  left wearing the toga of happiness and marrying their jobs about is without doubt unequalled which could capture the imagination of any living memory. But of all, one man is without doubt ready to carry the cross of the resurrection and restoration of the dying institute whose one leg is already in the grave. That one man with the swaggers tick, magic wand and air of command is our seasoned Pharmacist, Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe.

My interviews with the stakeholders pointed to one direction: “Dr. Adigwe”, the” solution personified”, the “game changer” and the” elixir. “Earlier, speaking with the secretary, Medical/Health Workers Union, NIPRD Branch Abuja, Comrade Ibiebin Arnold Ajomafuvwe, he said that: ‘the dramatic changes in his (Adigwe) entrance as the DG of the institute is stunning and remarkably outlandish in redefining the geo-politics of NIPRD through master-servant relationship in line with the philosophy and ideology of the organization, saying further that to keep the life of the organization afloat Dr. Adigwe has been providing all the necessary accessories by any means necessary”.

Comrade Arnold therefore charged Muhammadu Buhari to, “Finance NIPRD maximally as to live by its billings, cornerstone and the reason for its birth to be justified as the only medical empire with ISO 7025 certified in sub-Sahara Africa and could be self -reliant in the years following”.

The world must come to understand that Dr. Adigwe is not immortal nor invincible nor into brujah practices, no matter his intellectual property or prowess he brings to the table before NIPRD- the dying Horse before the knackers, the organic supports of the world is needed. This is the time he needs the APC-led government’s blessing/support. If the leadership of PMB is anything to go by, the time for the revival, resurrection and rejiging of the once burgeoning medical estate that bestrode the world like a colossus must be brought back to life through inveterate will power, adequate funding and sound ethical management which is Nigeria’s leadership albatross since its creation parody in the 60’s till date. The clear road to Nigerians industrial revolution and fighting the frightening unemployment as a ticking time bomb begins with NIPRD. The time to act  is now!

Alow-gold writes via [email protected]

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