The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has challenged the media in Nigeria to support the fight against fake drugs and substandard products because, according to her, her agency cannot handle it alone.
She stated this when the executives of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), led by its President, Mr. Hassan Zaggi, visited her, in Abuja.
She lamented that many Nigerians had in the past, suffered permanent injury while others lost their lives due to lack of drug control.
She revealed that her agency has discovered that some Nigerians, apart from faking drugs, they also add dye in palm oil to make it red. This, according to her, can destroy the kidney.
Prof. Adeyeye, however, said that things are getting better and expressed optimism that NAFDAC will soon overcome all the challenges.
“Those who are faking drugs, faking palm oil that we use by adding dye to it so that it becomes redder and when you eat, it will destroy the kidney. It is not just NAFDAC’s problem, it is the media problem also, because we are in it together.
“Things are getting better. I went to Ilorin and one of our staff said they know where they manufacture dangerous drugs but they can’t go there because they don’t have vehicles. I can’t ask them to go because I don’t want them to be killed. Just two weeks ago they attacked our staff in Onitsha. These are realities that the media may not know.
“NAFDAC’s job is extremely intensive, now that we have met, I need your opinions so that the relationship can last longer. I appreciate your being here.”
She disclosed that when she came in as the DG of the agency, NAFDAC was in a sorry state as most of the equipments were dilapidated and the agency was in huge dept.
The NAFDAC boss lamented the poor remuneration of staff of the agency, saying, she is working hard to ensure it improves.
“NAFDAC staff are so poorly paid, unbelievable. A director’s salary in Lagos, where can you rent with that amount?
“That is where I have put my energy. We are working on it. We are not there yet but we are not going to stop until they listen to us.
“I told my staff when I came, if you work with the mindset of a civil servant, you will not fit into the NAFDAC model I am building. We are here to safeguard lives. “
Earlier, the President of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists, Hassan Zaggi, applauded the reforms currently going on at the agency.
He pledged that the media will continue to work closely with NAFDAC to ensure that Nigerians get the needed information to safeguard their health.