By Chioma Obinna & Daniel Oduvwu
FOLLOWING the extension of the ban imposed by the European Union, EU, on beans and other food products, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has scaled up monitoring of the performance of stakeholders involved in the exportation of Nigerian food products.
Acting Director General of the Agency, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, stated in Lagos during the oversight visit of the members of the Senate Committee on Health.
Oni who regretted the ban said the Agency was working out measures to prevent future occurrence.
“NAFDAC is the focal point for the EU and Nigeria. We got their alerts and also alerted the various agencies. We updated the email addresses involved and even followed up with hard copies and phone calls, but the action to perform rests on the other stakeholders. Now, we have increased our monitoring on the performance of those stakeholders,” Oni said.
She disclosed that out of the N7 billion allocated NAFDAC in the 2016 budget, just N14 million had been released.
Responding to the alleged circulation of fake and counterfeit products in the country, Oni blamed the development on false declaration at the Ports of Entry.
She said NAFDAC should be permitted to return to the Ports for effective monitoring activities.
In a response, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olanrewaju Tejuosho, directed the Agency to urgently find lasting solution to incessant rejection of the country’s commodities, or risk not being captured in the 2017 budget.
He admonished the Agency over the content of its advertisements, while directing that the content of future adverts should focus on improving the lives of Nigerians as a whole.
“We want the content NAFDAC’s advertisements to be relevant to the people of Nigeria. The point should not be about advertising personalities, rather, the focus should be about promoting messages that will educate and inform people to know what they should do or should not do.
“Give us stories that will deter people from bringing in counterfeit products that are not good for our people,” Tejuosho added, noting that the ban on basis of high levels of dangerous pesticides was unacceptable as it had denied the country much needed revenue.