The newly inaugurated Governing Council of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said plans are underway to overturn policies restraining the agency’s operations at ports and boarders in the country.
The Board said due to the absence of the agency at the locations, fake and substandard products, as well as tramadol, which have caused severe damage to the lives of youths, have continued to gain access into the country.
The Chairman, NAFDAC Governing Council, Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, who disclosed this during his maiden visit and tour of the agency’s facilities in Lagos, said the policy, restricting the agency’s operations, was illegal, as it counter’s the mandate of the agency as instituted by law.
“Being at the port of entry is like a prevention. The order passed to prevent the agency access to the ports is illegal because the law that establishes this agency is that the agency should prevent illicit products from entering into the country.
“We have unscrupulous people who connive with some system to bring in bad products into the country. We have a number of drugs that are very dangerous to our socio-economic well being in this country,” he said.
Abdul-Kadir said those involved in these notorious activities are destroying lives and endangering the security of the society, noting that, as millions are being made through the importation of these illicit products, the agency’s staffs are out on a daily basis to apprehend offenders and perpetrators of this act.
He said the governing council has stepped up efforts to ensure the policy restraining the agency’s operations at the ports and borders are changed, as Nigeria serves as an export country to other West African countries, which rely on her for drugs and other products.
“The agency has to stand up to the occasion to ensure that the right things are done. We appeal to all authorities in the country and federal government to take this serious because it is a serious security, economic and social threat to this country because as long as this is allowed there won’t be peace in this country,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Director -General of NAFDAC, Prof. Christianah Adeyeye said, with the volume of work increasing in the agency, there is need for funding to upgrade and expand its facilities as well as laboratories in the country.
“The council talked about funding in terms of equipment, infrastructure, building repairs and how to get inspection carried out. Some of our African brothers depend on this country for food, drugs and other essential commodities, and so our facilities and laboratories need expansion and upgrading in terms of new technology, because ordinarily, Nigeria is one of the most largest or populous economy,” she added.
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