By Sola Ogundipe
PRESIDENT Umar Yarâ€™Adua has been urged to reconstitute the Governing Board of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and appointment of a leadership in line with provisions of Section 9 of decree 15 of 1993 as amended, if the current campaign against fake and adulterated food and drug products is to be successful.
Making the call in Lagos, National Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm Gbenga Olubowale said the persistence of unwholesome food and drug products in the public domain in the country, and the implication for public health, is proof that NAFDAC and other relevant regulatory agencies, as presently constituted, are incapable of arresting the undesirable trend.
With reference to recent reports of the influx of fake regulated consumer products, Olubowale said government needed to create an enabling environment by compelling the relevant agencies to carry out their mandate.
â€œThe fundamental thing if we must tell ourselves the truth is that Nigeria has once more become an attractive country for fake food and drug distribution, oiled very well by the vast network of open drug markets across the nation couple with absence of a structured professional drug distribution system.â€
Recalling that the PSN had posited severally that there is no alternative to dismantling of the open drug markets, he reiterated the stance of the Society for what he described as a â€œfit and proper person as chief executive in the spirit of the statute establishing NAFDAC is essential to resolving the challenges of circulation of fake drugs in the nation.
Noting that past regime of NAFDAC had raised the bar in its regulatory functions and gains recorded with significant reduction in importation and circulation of spurious food and drug products, it said politicisation of appointment of the head of the Agency was indirectly putting the lives of the entire Nigerian populace at risk.