NAFDAC Back At Borders To Monitor Imports

 

 

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) and with the active support of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Ministry of Transport has been returned to the seaports and borders.

According to the agency, this is to effectively control importation of unregulated products, falsified and substandard drugs, unwholesome foods, narcotic drugs and hazardous chemical substances and foods into the country.

NAFDAC said it received the notice on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in a letter dated 29th March, 2018 from the office of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as part of the PEBEC reforms.

In a statement signed on Thursday, the Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, said thousands of Nigerians have died because of falsified and substandard medicines.

He also noted that the development became even more necessary following a recently released documentary on codeine abuse.

He said: “Many are currently ill, most likely due to unwholesome foods, drugs and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances, such as codeine, tramadol,
pentazocine, etc. 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”.

He further stated that apart from the dangers posed to public health, drug abuse weakens and slows down economic and national development, as well as “increases the threats to national security”.

“The need for return of NAFDAC officials to the Ports and borders has been emphasized in different fora by the new NAFDAC’s DG but received a boost in the Communique issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser at the end of the National Chemical Security Training Conference in Abuja on 16th March, 2018.

The theme of the conference was “Towards a Secured Importation, Distribution, Storage and Use of Chemicals in Nigeria,” the statement noted.

The agency expressed gratitude to the Office of the NSA, the Chemical Society of Nigeria, The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), among other key stakeholders for recognizing it as a key player in the national security architecture,

It therefore, promised that with the help of Nigerian Customs Service, the Shippers Council and other sister agencies, it will “ensure that products that pose danger to the population are controlled at the point of entry.

“In addition, the presence of NAFDAC at the ports and borders will 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,” the agency stated.

Nigeria Has Over 50million Hectares Of Land, Yet Imports Rice – Ogbeh

The Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh has lamented over the rate at which agricultural products are imported into the country saying that the Nigeria has a huge expanse of arable land.

Speaking at a convocation lecture organised by the University of  Agriculture Abeokuta (UNAAB) as part of its convocation ceremonies, Ogbeh said Nigeria largely depend on food imports which account for about $22 billion per annum.

“We have over 50 million hectares of land, we can’t grow our own rice, we can’t produce our sugar, we can’t produce our milk, we import apples, honey, fish and frozen chicken, the list is endless.”

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Ogbeh said this huge range of import will only contribute to poverty and unemployment rate in Nigeria.

“What we are doing is importing products, exporting dollars. Alongside the food that we are importing, we are importing unemployment and poverty into our country.”

He said for this situation not to get worse, universities of agriculture across the country must rise up to the challenges of providing the necessary impute in the areas of research and development  and to address the  shortcomings in food production

He also said the federal government is committed to providing the necessary environment to attract younger farmers to the system through modern ways of farming and agricultural businesses.