The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye, has said the removal of its agency officials from the ports led to the influx of substandard drugs into the country.
According to the DG, between 2011 and 2018, NAFDAC was removed from ports thereby resulting in massive importation of drugs, as ‘cabals’ took over.
Mrs Adeyeye stated this while defending the 2022 budgetary allocation to her agency before the House Committee on Health Services on Thursday.
In 2011, the federal government ordered NAFDAC and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to vacate the ports, as part of efforts to decongest them.
However, the agency was asked to return to the ports in 2018.
At the budget defence session, Mrs Adeyeye stated that NAFDAC ought to be inspecting commodities that fall within its mandate. She noted that the absence of the agency led to ‘cabals’ taking advantage of the situation to flood Nigeria with substandard goods.
“For seven years, we were absent and cabals were formed. We cannot undo the cabals overnight. That is why it has been extremely challenging for the last three and a half years. The federal task force is domiciled in NAFDAC, we are putting a lot of money on enforcement,” she said.
She said NAFDAC needs more staff at the borders while lamenting the porous nature of Nigeria’s border corridor.
“We have 2,118 staff now. We need more staff at the borders. We do not have enough men and women to guard our borders,” the DG added.
Speaking on the issue raised by the DG, the Chairman of the Committee, Tanko Sununu (APC, Kebbi), tasked the agency to do more market surveillance in a bid to rid markets of substandard drugs.
Mr Sununu said the agency should develop multiple approaches to market surveillance.
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