BY AGBO-PAUL AUGUSTINE, Abuja
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 as the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, pledged that the legislative arm of the government will also look into the issue of overlapping functions as a way of creating a platform for effective performance of NAFDAC.
The House of Representatives on its own part has also acknowledged that NAFDAC could only perform optimally on its mandate to fight against counterfeit drugs and other substandard regulated products with improved funding for its regulatory activities.
In a press statement by the director, Special Duties of NAFDAC, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, yesterday 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, 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.
Saraki, described the director general as an accomplished professional with a distinguished career, honest and passionate to serve and called on her to bring her wealth of experience to bear on her new assignment in repositioning NAFDAC.
Speaking further, he urged the management of NAFDAC to support the new NAFDAC boss to succeed since she cannot do it alone but provide the direction needed for the Agency to move to higher heights.
Earlier, the DG of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, appealed for increased budgetary allocation to the Agency to position it in fighting the menace of counterfeiting more effectively.
Prof Adeyeye said NAFDAC is 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 she said are at the core of her regulatory activities improve ICT infrastructure, disciplined and motivated workforce, improve electricity supply, stakeholders communication coupled with other liabilities that require proper funding to address.
While promising to rejuvenate the war against counterfeit regulated products in spite of dwindling finances, she called on the National Assembly to urgently address the issue of overlapping functions and mandates of other sister regulatory agencies to avoid friction.
Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services were at the Headquarters of NAFDAC on oversight function during which they responded to the DG’s call for improved funding with a pledge to look at how they could wade in to ensure that NAFDAC ‘s activities are not hindered by funding draw backs. This they said is in view of the important role the Agency plays in the life and economy of Nigeria and the country at large.