The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has sought the assistance of state governors to combat the menace of illicit and substandard drugs across the country.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, who made the request during a courtesy visit to Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo state in Ibadan on Monday, said the war against illicit drugs was beyond what the agency alone could handle.
Adeyeye said that the agency needed the assistance of the governors for it to perform optimally.
The director-general, who led the management team of the agency and Southwest state coordinators on the visit, requested for a befitting place for the agency’s office and operational vehicles from the state government.
”We want to request for an unused/abandoned building to renovate or land on which the agency can build its state office,” she said.
She hinted that the agency had a national taskforce resident at its headquarters and which were also replicated in each state.
According to her, without the support of state governments, the agency would not be able to control illicit, falsified and substandard herbal medicines.
”We need the help of our governors to join hands with our federal task force to assist us to combat the menace of substandard and falsified drugs, including herbal medicines, ” the director-general stated.
She disclosed that there were issues when she assumed office but that she had been working, with the support of NAFDAC staffers, to strengthen the internal capacity of the agency to enable it ensure drug and food security in the country.
Adeyeye said that the agency had been working round the clock to ensure that the nation got rid of substandard drugs and nipped cases of drug counterfeits in the bud.
Although she stressed that the issue of drug security was important, the NAFDAC director-general however said that food security was more important, as food could either make one healthier or sick.
”Part of what NAFDAC does since I came is ensuring that the drugs we are using in the country are those that can work,” she said.
Adeyeye further explained that the removal of NAFDAC from the Nigerian ports between 2011 and 2018 had caused a lot of damage, the effect of which, she said, the agency was still mopping.
”I never knew that I would come into the agency and start battling with tramadol and codeine that have destroyed so many young lives.
”Nigeria cannot be greater than her youths because we cannot have tomorrow if we don’t take care of our youths,” she said.
The NAFDAC director-general observed that ”drug changes the way brain works and if the brain doesn’t function well, the home will not function well; so if the home doesn’t function well, then the society won’t function well.”
Responding, Gov Makinde, said the state would look into the request and get back to the agency.
He asserted that it was imperative for the state to support NAFDAC in order to ensure protection of people’s lives against illicit drugs and dangerous processed foods.
“Now that the standard guage rail line by the federal government has reached Ibadan, the dry port at Olorisa-Oko in Akinyele Local Government area will be completed within two years, and it is expected to open up Ibadan for commerce.”
According to him, people from the South-East, South-South, the North and other South-West states will not have reasons again to go to Apapa wharf in Lagos to clear their cargoes which can be done in Ibadan.
He said with the emergence of the dry port in Ibadan, the work of the agency would be needed more, thereby urging NAFDAC to prepare ahead. (NAN)