With the strengthening of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) vaccines produced in Nigeria, including those for COVID-19, they will be of internationally acceptable standard, the Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has vowed.
During an oversight visit to the NAFDAC facilities and COVID-19 laboratory projects in Lagos by the House of Representatives Committee on COVID-19 last Friday, the NAFDAC DG described the Federal Government’s huge spending on the fight against COVID-19 as exemplified as it included the construction of the new COVID-19 laboratory, equipped with modern instruments and amenities as a wake-up call for the country.
She noted with dismay that the health sector had hitherto been neglected before the present administration responded through the COVID-19 Committees of the National Assembly, ‘”particularly the members that are here today’’.
According to a statement by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, the NAFDAC boss said that to ensure that the health sector is strengthened, that the regulatory agency must be strengthened.
‘’If the regulatory agency is not strengthened, the industry will not be strengthened”,’ she said, adding; ‘’we have the African Free Trade Agreement already here with us now for the nation’s pharmaceutical industry to take advantage of with quality products”.
She added: ‘’There will be a lot of competition and if NAFDAC’s laboratory is not strengthened, we will not be able to compete.
‘’For vaccine, we are hoping that the vaccine facilities from the public- private partnership will soon happen’’, warning that ‘’but if the regulatory agency is not strong, we can make vaccine that will destroy our own people’’.
With NAFDAC now strong with WHO Maturity Level 3 certification, Adeyeye enthused that ‘’Nigeria can now make her own vaccines and we can assure the populace that there is quality in whatever is being manufactured because of NAFDAC’s strength’’.
On the impact of COVID-19 fund, she said it should resonate well with the whole country that if you put the right people in the right places, the vison of the government could be realised.
‘’Whatever approvals that are being given by the Federal Executive Council on funding our activities, you can actually touch such and this is what has happened here today’’, Adeyeye excitedly told the visiting lawmakers.
She commended the House COVID-19 committee, and the Healthcare Services Committee of the 9th Assembly for committing to ensuring that NAFDAC as a regulatory agency is being known internationally.
Speaking in the same vein, Chairman, House Committee on COVID-19, Hon. (Dr) Haruna Mshelia commended the NAFDAC DG and her management team for leveraging on latest technology to upgrade the agency to a standard that is next to none in Africa.
‘’We have seen with our eyes how they have leveraged on latest technology to upgrade the organisation to a standard that is next to none in Africa. I think they need to be commended. We have seen the warehouse. We have now seen the laboratory which is under construction. They have gone very far, and the standard of the construction is good.
“We have also seen the equipment awaiting to be installed in the laboratories. I have to say kudos to the DG and her team for getting good value for money as far as COVID-19 funds for NAFDAC is concerned. Other agencies should come to NAFDAC and learn how they have leveraged on ICT to move their organisation forward so that everywhere our standard can be uplifted with everyone seeing it,” Mshelia further said.