By Kadiri Abdulrahman
The return of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to the Nigerian ports after seven years of absence has improved its performance in controlling importation of food, drugs and other chemicals.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General NAFDAC made this known in a statement detailing activities of the agency on Friday.
Adeyeye said that the return to the ports has also improved cooperation with the Nigeria Customs and other relevant security agencies to improve its regulatory functions.
“The return of NAFDAC to the ports and borders in May 2018, after seven years of absence has significantly enhanced activities involving the control of importation of drugs, food, chemicals, detergents, cosmetics, and packaged water.
“The Agency’s support from the Office of National Security Adviser, engagement with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), support from the Comptroller General and officers of the NCS have been very helpful.
“Change in paradigm of the Agency to Customer-focused and Agency-minded has also influenced positively the control at the ports and borders, ‘she said.
The Director General said that synergy with the relevant security agencies resulted to interception of large quantities unregistered pharmaceutical products between September and November.
She expressed NAFDAC’s appreciation to the customs and other agencies for their support and cooperation.
“Acting on intelligence reports in September 2018, NAFDAC in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs monitored and intercepted 30 containers between September and November, of unregistered pharmaceutical products that were destined for Nigeria.
“Prior to this time, 53 containers of unregistered pharmaceuticals in Lagos Ports, and nine in Onne, Rivers State were intercepted.
“The council and management of NAFDAC would like to express our appreciation to the Nigeria Customs Service under the leadership of Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd.) for renewed and consistent support and collaboration,’’ she said.
Adeyeye announced the formation of a joint committee of NAFDAC and the Nigeria Customs for improved performance.
She expressed the agency’s determination to ensure that fake and unregistered drugs were prevented from entering the country.
“The collaborations have led to the formation of a Joint Committee of the Nigeria Customs Service and Control NAFDAC, and a joint destruction exercise with both agencies will take place in the near future.
“This is to further strengthen the existing collaboration with the aim of ensuring that Nigeria is no longer considered a harbour for substandard and falsified medicines and substances of abuse and illicit drugs.
“We wish to use this medium to inform the general public that NAFDAC will continue to protect the public health.
“ Necessary support and information should be provided to the Agency so as to ensure that more of such spurious consignments that have devastating effect on the public are prevented from entering into our country,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a letter from the office of the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, on May 16, 2018, confirmed the reinstatement of NAFDAC at the entry posts.(NAN)