By Doris Obinna
The National Assembly has promised to take up the issue of poor funding of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), promising to ensure improved budgetary allocations for the agency’s activities in the nearest future.
This is coming as the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, pledged that the legislative arm of the government would also look into the issue of overlapping functions as a way of creating a platform for effective performance of NAFDAC.
In a statement, the Director, Special Duties, NAFDAC, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, said: “The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was responding to concerns raised by the newly appointed Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, when she paid him a courtesy visit in his office recently, particularly disclosed that the Senate will consider the challenge of poor funding of the agency’s activities through improved budgetary appropriation to address the gap and other legislative instruments necessary to tackle the issue of overlapping functions with other regulatory agencies to give NAFDAC the needed bite in the fight against counterfeits.”
He disclosed that the Senate President had described the Director General of NAFDAC as an accomplished professional with a distinguished career, honest and passionate to serve, while calling on her to bring her wealth of experience to bear on her new assignment.
Earlier, Prof. Adeyeye appealed for increased budgetary allocation to the agency.
She said NAFDAC was burdened by a myriad of challenges, which currently limit its effective performance and discharge of its statutory function of safeguarding public health.
According to her, the agency is in dire need to retool her laboratories, which are at the core of its regulatory activities, improve ICT infrastructure, improve electricity supply and stakeholders communication.
While promising to rejuvenate the war against counterfeit products, Adeyeye called on the National Assembly to urgently address the issue of overlapping functions as well as mandates of other sister regulatory agencies, to avoid friction.
On the part of the House of Representatives, the NAFDAC director said the lawmakers had also acknowledged that the agency could only perform optimally on its mandate to fight counterfeit drugs and other substandard regulated products with improved funding for its regulatory activities.
According to him, when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services visited the headquarters of NAFDAC, on oversight function, pledge to look at how to ensure that NAFDAC activities were not hindered by funding draw-backs.
According to them, this was in view of the important role NAFDAC plays in the life and economy of Nigeria.