By Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale
To further strengthen the activities of its enforcement department and ensure that duties are carried out in a conducive environment, the National Agency for Food Administration and Control(NAFDAC) weekend commissioned the first-ever Enforcement Directorate office in the country.
Commissioning the office complex in Lagos, the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who spoke extensively on the importance of the directorate to its activities said the building of the office at the Apapa area of Lagos was borne out of the need to find a permanent site for the directorate after fire razed down their former office at the Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi in 2003.
Orhii said since the incidence, the Directorate had been squatting in various places without a place to call its own, a situation which he decided to change upon his assumption of office.
His words: “Since Enforcement Directorate left the Federal Secretariat in Ikoyi after the unfortunate fire incident of 2003, the directorate has been squatting in various places. I took it upon myself to provide a permanent and befitting office accommodation for all directorates of the agency.”he said.
Noting the importance of the department in NAFDAC, he noted that the role of the Enforcement Directorate was a very important one in the agency and that it was necessary to provide a well equipped facility which would enhance its efficience and effectiveness.
Orhii said with its mandate to safe guard public health, the importance of having an efficient enforcement department could not be over emphasised, noting that the “role of the Enforcement Directorate is a huge one and key to the overall mission of the agency”.
“It is therefore very important to ensure that the directorate works in an environment where they can carry out their duties effectively. “he said.
He added that the establishment of the edifice also was a way of showing Nigerians that the agency was concerned about the welfare of its staff and would continue to ensure that they worked under the most favourable conditions.
Corroborating his views, NAFDAC Director of Enforcement, Dr. Garuba Macdonald said that the establishment of the new office meant that the directorate would enable the department perform its duties effectively.
Describing it as history making event, Garuba noted that it was the first time the enforcement department of NAFDAC would have its own office since its creation in 2001.
He further commended the efforts of the DG in making the dream come true.
He promised that his team will work harder and perform better especially with the comfort they now have. “I want to assure the public that we would carry out our duties more effectively and ensure that peddlers of counterfeit medicine and products are continually brought to book in order to safeguard public health.”he said.