*Urge Govt To Rescind Decision Banning SON, NAFDAC From Ports
By Tordue Salem – Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday, attributed the pile of fake and adulterated products in the country, to the decision of the Presidency to keep the Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON and the National Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, off the country’s ports.
The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila was represented by Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu at a public hearing held by the Joint-Committee on Commerce, Industry and Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values.
“The reason why we are holding this Public Hearing today is because the decision of the Federal government to remove SON and NAFDAC, from our ports. This has made our country, a dumping ground for all kinds of fake products.
“We are therefore using this occasion, to call on the Federal government, to rescind the decision to ban NAFDAC and SON from our airports and ports”, he said.
On his part, the Chairman of the Joint-Committee probing the issue of the provision of fake drugs and other products in the country, Rep. Femi Fakeye said the task of his Committee, will be to ensure these counterfeit products are stopped from circulating in the country.
” Committee on Commerce, Committee on Industry and Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, with a mandate to Investigate how these fake, substandard and counterfeit products, continue to make in-road into our open markets, either as imports or as items manufactured in the country.
“The continued circulation of these items, is of grave concern to the National Assembly, not only because it leaves our citizens unprotected to be freely defrauded, but more importantly, because it is, in a number of cases, even a matter of life and death to the consumer!”, he stated at the Investigative hearing.
In his part, the Director-General, SON, Barr. Osita Aboloma, told the Joint-Committee, that the removal of SON from airports and ports, breached the Law setting up the agency, which requires the organisation to be at ports and every other entry point into the country, to check products coming in.
“The decision to ban us is not in line with the Act that set us up. We are supposed to install scanners at airports and ports, to check fake products”, he said.
Also represented at the Public Hearing, was the NAFDAC.
The decision to probe the influx of fake products in the country came on the heels of a Motion sponsored by Rep. ELumelu weeks ago on the matter.