Prof. Moji Adeyeye, the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has commended the staff of the agency for living up to expectation in its 25 years of existence.
Adeyeye made the commendation during at a news conference to commemorate the agency’s 25th anniversary on Monday in Abuja.
“Celebrating 25 years of existence is huge and it comes with challenges, but on the long run it is the success that informs the celebration.
“NAFDAC has had great successes; it is the biggest regulatory agency in Africa, and pioneer DGs like Prof. Osunde and Prof. Akunyili, laid a solid foundation upon which we are now building.
“It is time to celebrate, but it is also time to look back and take stock to learn from past mistakes,” she said.
The director-general said that the agency under her watch had recorded immense progress and was determined to further consolidate on the achievements.
“Prof. Akunyili did so much to ensure that substandard and falsified medicines are not allowed in Nigeria, and we have continued on that path, while also making some improvements.
“When I came in 2017, I met a debt of N3 billion, but we were able to pay back the debt by the end of November 2018.
“We also inherited a backlog of 6,000 unprocessed applications which we cleared within two months,” she said.
Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC’s absence from the ports between 2011 and 2018 also allowed for an increase in the availability of psychoactive drugs which affected many families.
“Our absence from the ports between 2011 and 2018 saw an increase in the use of psychoactive drugs; many children became addicted, and families were affected.
“We were allowed back into the ports in May 2018, and we have made so much progress. We were able to seize 23 containers of Tramadol worth N198 billion in 2018,” she said.
The director-general said that NAFDAC was also in the process of improving its rating by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to further give recognition to local pharmaceutical manufacturers.
“WHO grades agencies from one to four, ‘4’ is what FDA in America will have. We were on ‘1’ when I came in, now we are on ‘2′ going to ‘3′.
“Our members of staff are working round the clock to ensure that we meet WHO guidelines. Our goal is to be as good as the FDA,’’ she said.
She assured that the agency is also upgrading its equipment to improve the process of analysis and approval of food and drugs.
She also commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for creating an enabling environment that allowed the agency to function optimally.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NAFDAC was founded in January 1993. (NAN)