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President Buhari to confer National Productivity Order of Merit Award to Adigwe

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By Vivian Onyebukwa

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, will to=
day, May 12, 2022 at Aso Rock Presidential Villa, confer the National Produ=
ctivity Order Of Merit (NPOM) Award to Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe, Director-Gener=
al, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD),=
in recognition of his high productivity, hard work and excellence.=20
Adaigwe has beaten thousands of contenders to emerge the first prominent he=
althcare Chief Executive to clinch the highly coveted Productivity Awards f=
or the 2019/2020 session.

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Officials at the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, indicate that Adigwe =
emerged tops following a vigorous evidence-based selection process that rev=
iewed hard-work, excellence, innovation and productivity output from 2017 t=
o 2020.

It would be recalled that in 2017 and 2018, Adigwe had, as Executive Secret=
ary of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of N=
igeria (PMG-MAN), led advocacy efforts to reverse the insidious Common Exte=
rnal Tariff (CET), which threatened the entire Pharma Industry.=20
Along with Dr. S. Okey Akpa, the President of the West African Pharma Manuf=
acturers Association, he conceptualised the Medicines Security Concept, whi=
ch laid the foundation for drug and vaccines manufacturing initiatives that=
have taken centre stage today following the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Earlier, he had made his mark by designing and implementing the robust and =
comprehensive advocacy plan that led to the ring fencing of local manufactu=
re for several main categories of medicines in the 2016 National Fiscal Pol=
icy.

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Analysis shows that this landmark intervention led to double digit sectoral=
growth in the indicated areas, as well as inflow of millions of dollars of=

new investment, and the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs =
in the sector.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Adigwe=E2=80=99s maverick performance as Dire=
ctor General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Deve=
lopment (NIPRD, led to Nigeria=E2=80=99s emergence as a leading scientific =
authority in evidence-based policy making. Notably, he led the team that pr=
ovided the first international categorical analysis on the COVID organics p=
reparation, which then underpinned decision making that saved countless liv=
es and conserved millions of dollars.=20
Adigwe also convened the first National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC=
) for verification and validation of phyto claims. The output from the team=
of close to two dozen erudite and eminent Professors is now open sourced a=
nd underpins international objective analysis in the sector.

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Stakeholders have lauded the recognition of this maverick Director General,=
especially since he was appointed barely three years ago following a merit=
driven recruitment process.=20

Scientists and Academics further posit that Adigwe=E2=80=99s performance is=
evidence that Nigeria should focus on meritocracy in the selection of Agen=
cy Heads and Chief Executives so as to ensure the emergence of round holes =
in round pegs, which is critical to National Productivity and Development.

Whilst a chronological analysis suggests that Adigwe appears to be the high=
est Public Service Health Chief Executive to clinch this coveted award, oth=
er notable Nigerians who have previously clinched this highly coveted award=
include Aliko Dangote and Tony Elu

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