The Lagos City Hall was filled to capacity on Thursday with captains of industries, government functionaries, local manufacturers of drugs, water, drinks and other household consumables, as the National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) celebrated its Silver Jubilee in a colourful way.
The list of dignitaries who graced the occasion included: Esq. Inuwa Abdul-Kabir, chairman, Governing Council, NAFDAC; Alhaji Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group of Companies; Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai; immediate past president of PSN; Director General, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Dr Peter Obi Adigwe; Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of Pharmaceutical Companies like – Sir Nnambi Obi, MD, Embassy Pharmaceuticals; Sir Ike Onyechi, Alpha Pharmacy; Dr Okey Akpa; MD SKG Pharma; Pharm. Nnamdi Okafor, MD, May & Baker; Mr Ebuka Okafor, chairman, Vixa Pharmaceuticals; Dr Ifeanyi Okoye, CEO, Juhel Nigeria Ltd.; Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo, MD/CEO, DrugField Pharma; Dr Obiora Chukwuka, chairman, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals; Chief Emma Umenwa, managing director, Geneith Pharma; Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director, Pharmanews Ltd, and other stakeholders at the event.
Speaking on the reason for the celebration, Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, said the agency has got a lot to rejoice over, stating that they were able to offset a debt of N3 billion naira, within a year of her resumption in office, as she was able to block several financial linkages in the institution.
Again, she noted that before her assumption of office, NAFDAC used to be the shame of Africa, as it was formerly acknowledged by the World Health Organisation (WHO), however, she said the situation is getting better by the day, as she has been able to put a lot of structures in place.
Prof. Adeyeye also mentioned among other achievements of her one year in office, the improvement of staff welfare, noting that no institution can attain an enviable height without good staff welfare package.
She said the celebration is worthy of note because the agency is now SOP driven, customer focused, and now attained level two in SOP, adding that level four is their focus.
Although, the NAFDAC DG, who announced zero tolerance for extortion and corruption in the agency under her watch, flayed some members of the National Assembly for extorting agencies of the federal government, adding that she will not be threatened by such gestures.
On his own part, the Chairman, Governing Council, NAFDAC, Esq. Inuwa Abdul-Kabir, appreciated all guests for sparing their time to felicitate with the agency, and more importantly, he commended founding directors of the agency, who have contributed immensely to the success of NAFDAC at Twenty-five.
He mentioned names of NAFDAC DGs from inception, stating that Prof. Gabriel Osuide, was the pioneer DG, while also honouring Late Prof. Dora Akunyili, for her contribution to build on a foundation of NAFDAC, and for bringing the agency to limelight.
Presenting the Anniversary Guest Lecture titled” 25 Years of Significant Impact of NAFDAC on the Health and Economy of the Country” Mazi Ohuabunwa, x-rayed NAFDAC’s regulation of food and drug in the country vis-a vis national development in the last 25 years, arguing that there is significant reduction in the circulation of fake and substandard products in Nigeria.
Recognising the major role played by the late Prof. Dora Akunyili in popularising the agency, the PSN President said NAFDAC must strive to regain the agency’s reputation back to her era, when NAFDAC was a corruption –free zone.
He urged the management and Council to resist temptation to turn the agency to a fund-raising organisation, while doing their best to rid the country of fake and substandard drugs and other products.