Crippled by poor funding, Nigerian drug research institute in darkness for nine months

An institute established more than 36 years ago to develop drugs, biological products and pharmaceutical raw materials from indigenous resources in Nigeria is presently hampered by lack of funds.

Due to the paucity of funds, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD, located in the Idu Industrial Layout of Abuja, has been without electricity for over nine months since the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company cut off power supply over the failure of the institute to settle its debts.

During visits to the institute by a PREMIUM TIMES reporter on Wednesday, the place was in darkness due to absence of electricity. Its Director General, Karyinus Gamaniel, said the lack of electricity was an evidence of the challenges facing the institute.

He said although it needs electricity to operate, it has no fund to settle its electricity bills.

“This institution has not had power supply for over nine months. Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) packed up the power connections of the institution since early part of 2016.”

The professor of pharmacology explained that in the past few months, the institute has tried to improvise with a generator.

“We did a kind of rationalization for the past two months in which by 10 a.m. the generator supplies power for few hours. Prior to this, no power supply in the institution”, he said.

The Director-General added that 95 per cent of the challenges of the institution is due to underfunding as overhead expenses are hardly met.

He added that budgetary allocation to NIPRD is never enough, and even the budgeted sum only partially disbursed.

A review of the health ministry’s budgets shows that the institute was allocated N922.6 million in 2014, N716.7 million in 2015, N675.1 million in 2016, while N711.6 million has been proposed in the 2017 budget currently before the National Assembly

Mr. Gamaniel, however, said the allocations, though not enough, were never fully released to his agency.

He said the situation had gotten worse, adding that whereas about 80 per cent of the appropriated funds used to be released, only a fraction of what was appropriated had been made available in the past three years.

He said the reason why the public has not heard of the achievements of the institution is due to poor funding.

“It’s not like the institution is not really working, we are focusing on our priority.

“People don’t know much about the institution because communication itself is not cheap. We need adequate funding to do that,” he said.

Efforts to contact the health ministry on the poor funding of the institute were unusccessful. The ministry’s spokesperson, Boade Akinola, did not pick or return calls to her phone nor respond to a text message.

NIPRD was established in 1980 to develop drugs, biological products and pharmaceutical raw materials from indigenous resources.


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  • Tommy Soto

    Strong case for solar panels on their building/s.

  • Rommel

    It is time we evaluated the entire agencies under the FG to know those that are not productive, as much as this agency has been available since it inception many decades ago,apart from attending seminars and conferences outside Nigeria,what have they achieved to the benefit of the country that wants to develop? we know what vice chancellors and polytechnic rectors did with funds that were given to them for upgrading of facilities to make their institutions competitive globally but sadly,this financial aid has today rather made many of them to become guests of the EFCC, so funding is never the problem,it is the human beings in those institutions

    • Buru Kash

      @disqus_MSz5KF4VNF:disqus

      Nigeria is dying from a thousand cuts…..

      “The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State Chapter, on Monday
      defied the state government’s directive to return to work, a check has
      revealed. A visit to five public schools in Asaba, the state capital, on Monday
      reports that the schools were not in session.

      The teachers have been on strike since March 9. At the Westend Mixed
      Secondary School, Asaba, many of the students were seen in groups at the
      entrance of the school because the gate was locked.

      The teachers had embarked on strike on March 9 due to non-payment of
      salaries since November, 2016. They are also protesting the refusal by the
      state government to honour teachers transferred from the teaching service to
      ministries by the state government and the non-payment of pensioners’ benefits,
      among others”.

    • Adele Uhuru

      Yeah classic misdirection- rather state that this current administration change mantra is not realistic and that their progression thus far have reversed the growth our amalgamated country has achieve thus far to a 20 year decline- You are on here espousing this beauracraitic BS

  • bala

    THIS IS ANOTHER NATIONAL DISGRACE BUHARI,OSINBAJO, ADEWOLE & THE DOGARA.. KINDLY LEAVE SARAKI AND SENATELOOTERS OUT OF THIS. ACTIONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

  • Ibukun Bandele

    HAHAHAHAHA, WHAT A TRAVESTY OF A COUNTRY, NIGERIA, A COUNTRY THAT CANNOT PROVIDE ORDINARY DRINKING WATER FOR ITS CITIZENS WANTS TO DO DRUG RESEARCH, HAHAHA, MUMU PEOPLE,WAKE UP, BILLIONS SPENT AND NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT, SHAME ON US ALL

  • Okokondem

    I rarely agree with @Rommel but he is right to ask for a list of this agency’s achievements since inception 37 years ago. And I think this PT report is incomplete without providing that information. The creation of this agency may have been nothing more than a pet project of an over ambitious bureaucrat.

    Let’s be honest, will you trust medication produced by this agency giving our propensity for cutting corners to maximize profit? We ran our railway to the ground. We ran our national airline out of existence. And we ran at one pont, all of the country’s oil refineries aground. So, would be a consumer of a research product of a country with this abysmal record?

    Don’t get me wrong, this is not an indictment of the people of this country but rather the leadership.

  • and 20,000 new druggies are going to be set free soon!