Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has promised the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC that it would join in the fight against illicit drugs.
Governor Makinde charged the officials ofNAFDAC to brace up for the pressure that will follow the opening of the Dry Sea Port located in the State.
Makinde gave the promise when he received the Director-General, DG of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, who led other top management staff of the Agency from the Southwest to the Governor’s Office, at Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan.
Partner in Progress
He said that the the return of NAFDAC to the ports was a good idea, that the Agency would be a partner in progress to the State because health is one of the pillars on which his administration is resting.
He said, “In Oyo State, I am sure, within a year or two, we will have our own Dry Sea Port here. So, it is in our own interest and NAFDAC’s interest that we plan for expansion in the scope of activities for the State office here because what we have told the people is that the headache at Apapa in Lagos should be sent to us here.”
Makinde explained that it would be more convenient, easier and time-saving for any businessman coming from the northern part of Nigeria to pick up his container in Ibadan and make a turnaround back to the northern part of the country.
“I know a lot of people die because of fake medication, so I want to, on behalf of the government and the people of Oyo State, tell you that you are welcome and we are ready to work hand-in-hand with you to improve the security of what we eat,” he said.
Taming Flow of Illicit Drugs
The Governor also promised adequate support that would help the Agency achieve her objective of taming the flow of illicit foods and drugs in the State.
“Yes, you have asked for office space and vehicles, we will go back to see how and where we will give you support, especially the staff working in Oyo State. We will look at the request, all I can say is that it is not above what we can accommodate,” he stated.
Disclosing that the standard gauge rail line being constructed by the Federal government has got to Ibadan, which is some good news for the people of Oyo State, the Governor affirmed that it is important for the State to start planning for the expansion it has been looking at.
“We expect that a lot of Lagos goers will see Ibadan as a hostel and because Ibadan used to be the intellectual capital of the continent, we hope to bring back the era in a way the people will be engaged intellectually and they will say Ibadan is a place to raise family and all of that will put pressure on your State office and their infrastructures,” the Governor explained.
The Governor said that NAFDAC was one Federal Agency that could make a huge impact on the society if it functions very well, asking the Agency to work with his administration so as to be able to pl b an together.
“We know that you faced certain challenges in the past, but we have to be forward looking, we have to put things that happened in the past and we will do whatever we have to do to help you deliver on your mandate, moving forward, we are here to assist,” Governor Makinde added.
Speaking earlier, the NAFDAC DG, Professor Adeyeye, lamented that the Agency was still battling with the damage done to the country in the seven years it was sent packing from the ports, before her assumption of office.
“We have had a lot of problems that predated me and one of the problems is that NAFDAC was removed from the ports for seven years (2011-2018) and we are still mopping the damage that was done during the seven years, as we speak. I have often told people that Nigeria cannot be greater than her youths,” Adeyeye said.
Battling Spread of Illicit Drugs
he explained that it was unfortunate that the nation could be battling the spread of illicit drugs, including tramadol and codeine, adding that findings have shown that the remains of many individuals used as suicide bombers by insurgent groups revealed the presence of tramadol in their system.
The DG declared, “So, I take this very personally and for the first five months I was running to ensure we return to the ports and the NSA office came to help us because we found out that even the remains ot our children that the Boko Haram sent on suicide mission contain tramadol. So it is not about destroying the future alone, it is terrorism, it is destabilization of the community but we are able to go back into the ports.”
She also used the opportunity to solicit the support of the Oyo State government and other State governments across the country in terms of facilities, operational offices, structures and operational vehicles, among other things.