Only the sum of N774.356 million was released by the federal government, an aggregate of 46.2 per cent to the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) in the past six years, out of the N1.587 billion which was appropriated as running cost for the organisation, the Director General, NIPRD, Prof. Karniyus Gamaniel, has said.
According to him, in 2010, the sum of N113 million was released which is a 26.5 per cent of the total budget, while the sum of N163 million out of N242 million was released in 2011and in 2012, the sum of N124 million was released out of N254 million.
“In 2013 and 2014, the sum of N116 million and N152 million respectively were released out of N402 million and N394 million. In 2015 and 2016, the sum of N25 million and N20.4 million were released as against N50 million and N48 million that were appropriated.
Speaking during a press briefing, he lamented the neglect of the institute which he said had great potentials to serve Nigerians and has the ability of generating not less than N100 million annually.
Gamaniel said it was necessary to juxtapose the released sum of money in the face of the present exchange rate, saying that the funds are grossly inadequate to run the organisation, and such, the government’s political will in pharmaceutical research must be felt as basic funding is needed to develop capacity.
”There is the need to contextualise things. You can see that there has always been a difference in the budget appropriation, sometimes N200 million, N100 million, etc. In those years, there is the need to consider the exchange rate of the naira. Now that the exchange rate is worse, as of this year, our appropriation is N48 million and a conversion of that is less than $80,000 for a whole year for this institution. The dollar value is very important and so far what we have received is N20.4 million.”
“Inadequate capital and running cost is the most daunting challenge of NIPRD and there is a waste of resources and capacity if research is not taken seriously.”
The DG who revealed that they have so far added four more products to their production kitty, have continued to provide research output to herbalists and researchers from universities and polytechnics who desire to register their products with NAFDAC or for other purposes, despite inadequate funding.
He said other challenges include inadequate equipment for central lab facility, brain drain of research fellows, grossly inadequate capital cost and running cost as well as highly inadequate power supply.