By Ajibola Abayomi,
March 21, 2018.
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has called for the suspension of the Director of Enforcement of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for non-performance.
The association which made this call in a press release it issued in Lagos through its Head, Special Duty & Strategy, National Headquarters, Rev. Emmanuel Agubanze/
The body submitted that the schedule officers in charge of stakeholders’ engagement should also be questioned and removed if found guilty of dereliction of duty.
While pointing out that It shall be the duty of the Enforcement Unit of NAFDAC to interdict the inflow of fake, substandard and adulterated pharmaceutical products into Nigeria, NAGAFF regretted that NAFDAC officials who were resident officers in the nation’s entry points were participating in all Customs examinations yet fake products were seemingly coming into Nigeria through the seaports and approved border stations.
The statement reads:” It is also regrettable that NAFDAC is connected to the Nigeria Integrated Information System (NICIS) of the Nigeria Customs to view the manifest history of any import into Nigeria and yet it is not doing the needful reasonably. NAGAFF can confirm that after late Prof. Dora Akunyili era, the aspects of traders’ engagement had become a dead zone in NAFDAC administration.
“We therefore wish to advise whoever is the Director General of NAFDAC to visit the ports and border control areas to see things himself.
“He/she should confer with stakeholders to enhance responsible partnership to actualize NAFDAC mandate in favour of life and properties of Nigerians. To us in NAGAFF, NAFDAC and SON mean safety of life and properties.
“In the interim it shall be our advice that whoever is the Director of NAFDAC Enforcement Unit of the ports should be suspended from office for non-performance. The Schedule officers in charge of stakeholders’ engagement should also be questioned and removed if found guilty of dereliction of duty. It is in the public glare that large numbers of Nigerians going to overseas for various avoidable health challenges ranging from kidney failure, heart failure, prostate cancer and respiratory issues etc. may be connected to administration of fake pharmaceutical products.
“NAGAFF and its members may not be an expert in medical matters but we hear the public outcry with regard to fake drugs etc. We have seen the Managing Director Nigerian Ports Authority, the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the Comptroller General of Customs, The executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council going out to interface with the stakeholders on trade rules and standards with a view to achieving its mandate.
“Ironically, the NAFDAC leadership simply sit in their air-conditioned offices and dish out instructions without due supervision and feedback.”
The statement further said:“In due course NAGAFF may make further statements in this regard because Mr. President is not expected to come to the ports to do their assigned duty wherein he had delegated his powers to the heads of Government Agencies to act on his behalf.
“The likelihood of NAGAFF profiling and compiling names of Heads of non performing Government officials for Mr. President’s attention is not foreclosed”.