By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel
The House of Representatives has bemoaned the rising rate of abuse of hard substances and over-the-counter medicines by youths across the country
To that effect, it charged the new Director-General of the National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, to as a matter of priority, tackle the issue of drug abuse among Nigerian youths.
The lawmakers tasked the professor yesterday, when she paid a courtesy call on the Chike Okafor-led House Committee on Healthcare Services at the National Assembly.
Okafor, who noted the need for the agency to introduce measures through which destructive trend can be tackled, called for new ideas and policies from the new Director-General as her appointment is expected to usher in a new era in the agency.
“Ours is to give maximum legislative support to NAFDAC because of its importance to safeguarding the health of our people. Moreso now that we have a substantive DG.
“We expect you to bring to bear your wealth of experience on NAFDAC being an essential agency and because I don’t know where the country would have been now if it was never set up.
“Fortunately, NAFDAC has been able to carve a niche for itself over the years and we expect another woman to drive the agency and deliver the mandates,” Okafor stated.
On her part, Adeyeye who informed that the agency will operate on a policy of zero-tolerance to distribution and sale of counterfeit drugs stressed that NAFDAC will intensify its fight against criminal elements involved in the import of counterfeit drugs.
“Thousands of Nigerians have died due to the consumption of fake drugs. This is why it is in my heart to reduce to the sale of counterfeit drugs to the barest minimum”.
She also impressed on the National Assembly to support the agency in terms of allocating much needed resources to upgrade the agency’s laboratories, staff training and operational preparedness, in order for the agency to make significant impact.
“We want to make NAFDAC greater. We need a lot of resources to do this and this where the House Healthcare Services Committee comes in”, she stated.