By Kemi Akintokun, Lagos.
The Director-General of NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has assured Nigerians that COVID-19 vaccines that are produced in the country will be of international standard, with the strengthening of the agency.
Adeyeye gave the assurance during the oversight visit of the House of Representatives Committee on COVID-19 to the facilities of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and COVID-19 laboratory projects in Lagos.
A statement issued on Sunday by Sayo Akintola, NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, said that Adeyeye described the Federal Government’s huge spending on the fight against COVID-19, as exemplified by the construction of the new COVID-19 laboratory, as a great achievement for the country.
She said that the laboratory, with equipped modern instruments and amenities at the agency, was a wake-up call for the country.
She noted with dismay that the health sector had been neglected before the current administration responded through the COVID-19 Committee of the National Assembly, “particularly the members that are here today’’.
Adeyeye said: “To ensure that the health sector is strengthened, NAFDAC must be strengthened, if the regulatory agency is not strengthened, the industry will not be strengthened.
“We have the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) already here with us; it’s now apt for the nation’s pharmaceutical industry to take advantage of it with quality products.
“There will be a lot of competition and if NAFDAC’s laboratory is not strengthened, we will not be able to compete.
‘’For vaccines, we are hoping that the vaccine facilities from the Public-Private Partnership will soon happen but if the regulatory agency is not strong, we can make vaccine that will destroy our own people.”
The director-general noted that with NAFDAC now very strong with WHO Maturity Level 3 certification, “Nigeria can now make its 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 which the COVID-19 Fund had made, Adeyeye said: “This should resonate well with the whole country that if you put the right people in the right places, then, the vision of the government can be realised.
‘’Whatever approvals that are being given by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on funding our activities, you can actually touch such and this is what has happened here today.”
She commended the COVID-19 committee and the Healthcare Services Committee of the National Assembly for committing to ensuring that NAFDAC, as a regulatory agency, was known internationally.
Speaking, Chairman, House Committee on COVID-19, Rep. Haruna Mshelia, commended Adeyeye and her management team for leveraging latest technology to upgrade the agency.
‘’We have seen with our eyes how they have leveraged the 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 D-G 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 ICT to move their organisation forward, so that everywhere, our standard can be uplifted with everyone seeing it,” Mshelia added.