On November 13, 2015, Pharm. Ahmed I. Yakasai, FPSN, FNIM, FNAPharm was elected as the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and subsequently inaugurated on February 18, 2016 together with the investiture of new Fellows of the society at the luxurious Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja amidst glamour, fun and class. The esteemed dignitaries in attendance were many; governors, senators, business moguls, ministers, diplomats, traditional rulers, accomplished pharmacists amongst other eminent people from all walks of life and various parts of the country graced the occasion. For the first time in a very long time, the President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) also graced the occasion and gave a goodwill message. In his inaugural speech, Ahmed Yakasai reiterated his commitment to promote unity, harmony, mutual respect and professionalism within the health sector. Prior to this, the first thing he did after resuming office as the numero uno pharmacist in the country was to reach out to the then President of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Kayode Obembe on how both bodies can work together in harmony as leaders of the health sector for the benefit of the patients, the healthcare system and the nation. He has walked the talk in the past one year with massive results recorded so far.
Today, there is a better relationship between PSN and NMA compared to what we had experienced in the past and the Nigerian health care system has benefitted from this fostering relationship built on mutual respect, professionalism, understanding and altruism.
Ahmed I Yakasai FPSN was born in Yakasai Quarters of Kano Municipality, Kano State on the 1st of December 1960. He obtained his first degree in Pharmacy in 1983 from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University. He also has several postgraduate certificates in different professional fields ranging from General Management, Leadership Skills, Entrepreneurship, IT, Community Rapid Assessment, Emergency Preparedness and Response to Epidemics/Case Management, Leasing Operations and Administrations, Islamic Banking, Public-Private Partnership Project Management Essentials and MSc. International Marketing (Search and Social Media Marketing), University of Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom.
He is a Fellow of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Fellow of Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Management, Fellow, Institute of Logistics Management of Nigeria and Fellow, Institute of Chartered Institute of Commerce, Fellow African Institute of Public Health Professionals and Fellow, Professional Excellence Foundation of Nigeria.
He is an accomplished Pharmacist/Independent Consultant with comprehensive background in International Marketing and has worked variously in both public and private sectors. He was Commissioner twice in Kano State (Commissioner of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism in 2005-2010 and Commissioner of Land and Physical Planning 2010-2011.He worked in four government hospitals before joining private sector in 1987 after which he founded Pharmaplus Nigeria Ltd in 1992.
He was 1st Deputy President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (1997-2000), Chairman, Pharmaceutical of Society of Nigeria, Kano State 1991-1995, Chairman, Nigerian Association of General Practice Pharmacists(now ACPN)-1989-91, 1st Vice President, Kano Chamber of Commerce 1996-2004, Zonal Consultant, NAFDAC-2003-2005, Chairman, Northern League of NGOs-USAID-1997-2003, Chairman, Yakasai Zumunta Development Association-2005-date, Chairman, Steering Committee, 1st Kano Economic Summit 2006, Consultant/Coordinator HUCE/PACE-GHAIN Project, Chairman, Organising Committee, Nigeria-Pakistan Pharma Investment Forum 2014 and Founder of Ahmed Yakasai Community Service Award to Community Pharmacy Practice.
Ahmed I Yakasai is an Honorary Consul- General of Pakistan in Nigeria.
Yakasai is a member of numerous Professional, Academic and Social organizations. He holds the Igbo traditional title of Enyi Dioranma 1 of Umuzike, Orlu, also earned enviable honours from so many organizations because of his selfless service to humanity.
Just relatively one year in office as the primo inter pares of the pharmacy profession in Nigeria, he has not just satisfied our colleagues across the length and breadth of the country and those beyond our borders who voted him into office, he has amazed us. He has strengthened PSN with collaborative, participatory, responsive and transparent leadership. PSN has recorded unprecedented growth in terms of improved image of the society by means of wider advocacy at various national and international fora, high standard of professional ethic by working in tandem with Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria, maintaining a high standard of pharmaceutical education in Nigeria through the actualization of the approval of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) programme by National Universities Commission in Nigeria.
He has encouraged and built the capacities of young pharmacists and student pharmacists in Nigeria and Africa by giving them more opportunities to learn and become better. He has been in the forefront of public awareness and knowledge on various health, hygiene, sanitation issues and diseases by releasing educative articles or press statement on each World Health Organization health related days celebration to educate the public. In addition, he has also strengthening ties and relationship with other professional bodies in Nigeria beyond the health sector by playing key role in the programme of Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN). No wonder, the Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac F. Adewole, FAS has referred to him as a bridge builder and a man of peace at different fora.
The Enyi Dioronma of Umuzike 1, Orlu, Imo state is a man of many parts; a distinguished pharmacist, a successful entrepreneur, a respected diplomat, a stimulating author, an accomplished consultant, and above all, a remarkable philanthropist who has sponsored scores of young Nigerians for their first, masters and doctoral degrees in Nigeria and abroad. He is the patron and Former Chairman of Yakasai Zumunta Development Association, Kano State where he built hospital with the support of his good friends that is providing qualitative healthcare service to the community. He is also the patron of Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students National and Jos (1995 to Date), a peaceful man with a big heart who believes in togetherness, mutual respect, team work, integrity, hard work and impact.
I wish this extraordinary Nigerian; an emblem of peace, a symbol of unity, a paragon of simplicity, a good example of true success, a model of integrity, an eidolon of a perfect gentleman happy earth strong. May the almighty grant him unparalleled long life in good health, continuous peace of mind, all the good of the world and the good of the hereafter.
Age with grace Sir!
Sesan Kareem writes from Lagos Nigeria. He is a distinguished pharmacist, a full potential coach and the PA to the President of PSN, Ahmed I. Yakasai.