Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Professor Moji Adeyeye, says her dream is for the agency to be the pride of Africa.
In an interview with PMNEWS team of Lanre Babalola, Ademola Adegbamigbe and Yomi Osoba, the NAFDAC boss revealed that Nigeria is currently importing about 70 percent of drugs its people need.
”My dream for the agency is to be the pride of Africa. My dream for NAFDAC is to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with any organization in the world. My dream is for the local manufacturing to thrive. Right now, we are importing about 70 per cent of drugs. My dream is to change to 70-30, meaning manufacturing 70 locally and importing 30. This is because no country really does 100 per cent local manufacturing because when that happens, we have drug security, they are assessable, affordable and secondly our children will have hopes and thirdly to reduce the standard of falsified medicines coming into the country. Right now a lot of substandard falsified medicines are imports, they are not drugs that are manufactured locally. My dream for NAFDAC is to have world class laboratories.
”When I got to NAFDAC, it was pathetic because the lab was kind of left behind and I said no, this cannot happen, so I started focusing or giving the lab the required attention, this past year we have ordered greater than N500 million of lab supplies from Germany, we now do direct purchasing, instead of going through middle people, middle people which was the situation before I came and things were just chaotic and nothing was in the lab to really make the lab great. My dream of course is to have a strong workforce, all these things that I am talking about cannot happen unless you have a strong workforce. When I took this job about 15 months ago that was no 1 on my list because NAFDAC was always going on strike and the first day that I started I met with the union, I said what is the problem? I empathized with them, I didn’t even know the details, I empathized with the points they were making and I got into action. If a member of staff is not satisfied, you better know, the job is not going to be done. I am talking of the structure, not a staff that is not going to be busy or whatever.
”The council was inaugurated in March, and that was the first thing I presented to them. For the first time, NAFDAC staff now have conditions of service- I am talking of completed ones. They had it before but they put it somewhere. They have scheme of service, allowances that are due them, the productivity allowance they now get. If you remember, they had a sympathy strike with Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) last year and for these we lost one billion naira in revenue, it is common economics, which one do you want, do you want to take care of the staff reasonably or you want to be losing money? I am not an economist but it doesn’t take rocket science to do that.”