By Paul Obi
The Federal Government on Tuesday halted the importation of treated mosquito nets and insecticides from Tanzania into the country.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who made this revelation at the launch of new guidelines for regulatory activities by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) in Abuja said, “there is absolutely no reason for importing treated mosquito nets and insecticides from Tanzania.”
Adewole also assured that the Federal Government will do everything required to ensure that the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) do not carry out the threat to down tools after the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum handed down to government on Monday this week.
NARD had accused government of negligence and arbitrariness over non-payment of salaries, reckless sack of its members and poor health care infrastructure around the country.
“I am not aware of it (strike) yet. When I get to know, I will address it. You know I am a former member of NARD and I was also a general secretary of the group. So, I can handle my people. Leave us to handle that, I assure you that there will be no strike,” the minister submitted.
Adewole explained that government was already working out modalities to reposition the health sector for optimum results, stressing that, strike is the least distraction Nigeria should face now.
Earlier, the NAFDAC Acting Director General, Mrs Yetunde Oni, said the launch of the new guidelines is aimed at strengthening the agency to ensure effective regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and monitor the efficacy of products in the country.
Oni explained that “given the scientific nature of the operations of NAFDAC, it is expected that we would regularly engage in activities to sharpen delivery on our mandate through availability of adequate tools to enhance productivity. These guidelines aid compliance by stakeholders and make regulatory activities seamless between regulators and the regulated,” the acting DG said.
She said the guidelines clearly spelt out details on regulations and how they are to be implemented in line with relevant laws and extant statutes.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Rui Vaz stressed that the organisation will continue to support Nigeria to enhance its capacity to regulate the pharmaceutical industry, with emphasis on quality and standard.