The Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders in the health industry have commended the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for its efforts in safe-guarding the country against counterfeit medicines in the last 25 years.
They gave the commendation in Abuja on Tuesday during the 25th anniversary celebration of the agency.
Hajiya Aisha Buhari said the agency’s efforts in the effective control and regulation of the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines, as well as wholesomeness of foods and other related products was worthy of celebration.
She said Nigerians recall the poor state of the pharmaceutical industries and other related sectors before the establishment of NAFDAC in 1993, adding that the advent of NAFDAC has significantly reduced the country’s disease burden arising from counterfeit medicines, food contaminants, poorly packaged water, corrosive cosmetics and other unhealthy practices.
She lauded the contributions of the late Prof. Dora Akunyili to the development of NAFDAC, and pharmaceutical and allied industries in the country.
According to her, Nigerians could not forget Akunyili’s patriotic and selfless contributions in hurry. While describing her as transparent, hardworking and dedicated to her duties, Hajiya Aisha Buhari said Prof Akunyili was a great supporter and firm believer in the president’s vision of a corruption-free and egalitarian society.
In his remarks, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) harped on the need for collaboration between government agencies saying no agency could survive without collaboration with others.
He said the menace of drug abuse has permeated every nook and cranny of the country adding that parents should ensure that their children and wards were doing the right thing.
The chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), said NAFDAC has done very well in the last 25 years.
He noted that the committee would continue to collaborate with the agency to tackle the menace of drug abuse in the country.
Also speaking, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, said traditional rulers would continue to support efforts and advocacy against drug abuse and other areas required for progress in the country.
Earlier, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the agency was celebrating because of its many achievements such as protecting the country from counterfeit medicines, clearing its N3.2billion debt, improved staff welfare, seizure of N198billion worth of Tramadol last year and simplified application of procedures, among others.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of a grand diamond excellence awards to the Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and a post-humus life time achievement awards to Prof Dora Akunyili, former minister of Health, Prof Olikoye Ransome-Kuti and the pioneer Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Gabriel Osuide.
The governors of Yobe and Kano, Ibrahim Geidam and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote and other personalities and health institutions also won awards for their contributions to the growth of NAFDAC.
There was also a public presentation of a book on NAFDAC’s 25 years journey which was reviewed by the immediate past president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai.