The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday returned to the seaports and borders to effectively control importation of unregulated products, falsified and substandard drugs, unwholesome foods, narcotic drugs and hazardous chemical substances and foods.
According to a statement from NAFDAC, signed by its Director- General, Prof. Moji Christiana Adeyeye, the agency received the notice to return to the seaports and borders on Wednesday, May 16, in a letter dated March 29, from the Office of the Vice-President as part of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) reforms.
Adeyeye, however, assured the public that the presence of the agency at the ports, would pave the way for dangerous drugs or substances that were abused, many times falsely shipped as building materials, electrical appliances, computer accessories, among others to be intercepted at the point of entry.
Similarly, she said it would reduce significantly the evasion of payments of statutory fees for importation of regulated products, thus increasing the agency’s internally generated revenue and that of the Federal Government.”
NAFDAC’s return to the seaports and borders was carried out in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) and with the active support of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), PEBEC, and the Ministry of Transportation.
Highlighting the background preceding the return, NAFDAC Director- General, Prof. Christiana Mojisola Adeyeye, said thousands of Nigerians had died as a result of falsified and substandard medicines.
“Many are currently ill, most likely due to unwholesome foods, drugs and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances, such as codeine, tramadol, pentazocine, among others. “These are partly due to exclusion of NAFDAC from our ports since 2011.
The recent documentary on codeine abuse brought more attention to the issue.” Aside from the dangers posed to public health, Adeyeye said the involvement of youths in abuse of drugs weakens national development, economy and nation building as a result of accompanied side effects of abuse; that is disruption of life goals, ideals and families.
Moreover, she stated that the threat to national security, due to criminality and terrorism that often result from such abuse was obvious. According to the director- general, the need for return of NAFDAC officials to the ports and borders had been emphasised in different fora by the new NAFDAC’s boss but received a boost in the communiqué issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser at the end of the National Chemical Security Training Conference in Abuja on March 16, 2018.
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