The question as to whether the Nigeria Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and its sister agency, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), should return to the nation’s ports and borders has not only remained a hotly debated issue, but one requiring urgent attention by the constituted authorities.
According to available information to DAILY INDEPENDENT, the sheer absence of these two bodies at the border posts as well as the ports may be responsible for the growing menace of illicit drugs and other substandard products flooding the country’s local markets and constituting economic sabotage
Worried by the brigandage of fakers and their accomplices, stakeholders like NAFDAC and SON, have continued to provide leadership as best they can, especially in the area of monitoring and supervision of cargo processing at the land borders as well as the ports.
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But with a subsisting Executive Order by the Federal Government which in 2011, placed restrictions on the number of agencies required at the ports and the subsequent moratorium placed on NAFDAC and SON and six others like the NDLEA to leave the port environment, have left the two demotivated by government’s fiat, the implication of which continues to weigh in on their service delivery mandate.
As the arm of government vested the responsibility of making laws in the overall interest of the people, members of the House of Representatives, had last December, constituted the Conference Committee led by Hon. James Faleke and other five members to address the fallouts of the Federal Government decision banning some agencies from the port environment.
The appeal followed the adoption of a motion brought under urgent national importance by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu at the plenary.
Among other things, he said that the exclusion of SON and NAFDAC from the list of agencies at all ports and borders was a clear signal for purveyors of substandard products and their collaborators that the road is wide open for nefarious and unpatriotic activities.
“Since the expulsion of SON/ NAFDAC from all borders and ports, there has been unabated importation of substandard products into the country by unpatriotic Nigerians and this itself is one of the highest forms of corruption and threat to National security”, he said.
He expressed concern that the ministerial directive expelling SON NAFDAC from all ports and borders was done without taking cognisance of the compelling need for SON to be at ports and borders in line with the requirement of the law.
The minority leader however, stressed that it was pertinent to note that those reasons are no longer tenable as clearance of goods are now done electronically in support of the diversification of the economy in line with the presidential directive on the ease of doing business
Source : independent.ng