For the use of narcotics to be reduced to the barest minimum in the country, then all stakeholders must play active roles in ensuring compliance with regulations on the importation of such drugs, as well as urgently reporting the sales and use of such drugs to the appropriate quarters, whenever such is found, Chairman, NAFDAC Governing Council, Alhaji Wuwa Abdulkadir has said.
The NAFDAC Chairman, who was not by any means shifting the responsibilities of the agency to the citizens, stated that in a country of about 200 million population, NAFDAC officials cannot be everywhere at the same time, which calls for the people to be vigilant and ready to report any nefarious activities around them to the nearest NAFDAC office to them.
Alhaji Abdulkadir who was meeting the agency’s national directors for the first time, at the NAFDAC Main Laboratory Complex, Oshodi, since the inauguration of the council, said although this is not the best of time, as there is so much drug abuse and misuse in the country, however pledged the commitment of the council, to work hand in hand with the management of NAFDAC, to rid the nation of illegal drug use.
He also emphasised the essence of having well motivated staff members, which he described as key in fighting drug abuse to a standstill in the country.
“Our vision is to improve our staff welfare package, because whatever is our mandate, there is no means of achieving it, without motivated staff. In fact, the agency stands at a risk if our staff could be easily manipulated by unscrupulous persons for gain of reward, to the detriment of the agency”.
On the control of drug abuse and misuse in the country, the NAFDAC chairman noted with dismay that there are a number of drugs in Nigeria which are very dangerous to the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens.
Citing the misuse of tramadol for instance, he said it is imported to sustain criminal activities in the society.
According to him: “The misuse of tramadol is really destroying our youths and endangering the security of the nation, as it is a major boost to criminal activities. Thus, the more tramadol in circulation, the more insurgency on the rise”.
He said this negative development calls for the concern of all citizens, much more now that political campaigns are at the corner, when political thugs will be in desperate search of stimulants to cause mayhem in the society.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Abdulkadir commended the efforts of the agency’s enforcement officers, who risk their lives on a daily basis in curtailing the activities of drug peddlers in the county, noting that the council will not relent its efforts, until a good number of these evil men are brought to book.
The chairman who expressed his satisfaction, with the pace of work at the institution, however said that a lot needs to be done in upgrading capacity, in order to cater for the teaming population of Nigeria. He also observed the dedication of the staff, even in the face of seemingly shortage of hands; they are still meeting their deadlines on assignments given to them.
The Director General, NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye expressed our deep delight with the appointment of the chairman and members of the council, after the agency has suffered several setbacks, due to the absent of a governing council and a substantive DG.
She identified adequate funding as key factor for effective enforcement of the agency’s regulation in the country. “Several vehicles are needed for combing of nooks and crannies of the nation, as well as for the inspection of companies and facilities”.
On her assumption of office, she said the state of facilities in the agency was comatose, which spurred her into action immediately, as she has been able to improve the situation, within few months.
With the agency’s 9 April 2018, deadline for the clearance of 6,000 backlog applications due for approval, she assured Nigerians of better and faster ways of getting their products registered without much delay.