As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address drug insecurity in the country.
“We are working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to address drug insecurity in the country; that is part of our post–COVID-19 plan to revamp the heath sector,” Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.
She said that the agency had been meeting with relevant stakeholders to achieve the feat.
Adeyeye said the agency had started working on the production of herbal medicine since March 2019.
“As soon as I came in as the DG, I started singing it everywhere I go that we have drug insecurity.
“If you manufacture 30 per cent of your drugs locally and import 70, you have made your nation a slave to the country that is supplying.
“India also stopped their own supplies because they want to conserve. It left us stranded, but the pandemic lingers on,’’ she said.
According to her, the agency met with the CBN governor two months ago to address challenges facing the sector.
“We have had series of meeting and NAFDAC is the go-between now.
“We had a meeting last Saturday, so part of what the government has realised is that the health sector has been neglected.
“We have realised that we have to take care of some aspects of the health sector.’’
The director general said that the Federal Government had been responding by allocating N100 billon to qualified pharmaceutical manufacturing companies for production of indigenous drugs.
“We left industrialisation decades ago but we are going back to where we came; the government is supporting and more companies are getting approval.’’
Adeyeye emphasised that Nigeria’s over-dependence on medicine importation had affected production of locally made drugs.
She said that the lack of accessible raw materials had also posed similar challenge, adding that the challenge needed to be tackled before Nigeria can attain a state of drug security.
“We should wake up as a country; we import alcohol, one of the ingredients for sanitisers. We cannot continue like this,” he said.