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NAFDAC in Turmoil, Urgent Calls for Leadership Change Amid Allegations of Maladministration

NAFDAC in Turmoil, Urgent Calls for Leadership Change Amid Allegations of Maladministration

In the wake of mounting concerns surrounding alleged maladministration and fraudulent activities within the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), responsible for ensuring product safety in Nigeria, stakeholders unite in a compelling call for immediate action and a substantive change in leadership.

The current Director General (DG) of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, faces intensified scrutiny for a range of accusations, including sidelining Directors, leading to an influx of fake, adulterated, and unregistered products, posing a severe threat to public health. Revelations unveil that the DG has been micromanaging NAFDAC for a year, operating as a sole administrator and refraining from convening crucial top management meetings during this period.

Investigations reveal alleged favoritism in tenders board meetings, where contracts are purportedly shared with associates, raising significant concerns about the agency’s procurement processes’ transparency and integrity.

NAFDAC, pivotal for its regulatory role against unsafe products in Nigeria, grapples with internal strife. Critics denounce the DG’s management style, accusing her of prioritizing personal gain over regulatory responsibilities, fostering an environment conducive to the surge in counterfeit and hazardous products. Stakeholders, alarmed by the agency’s current trajectory, advocate for a dynamic chief executive to lead a comprehensive overhaul.

Detractors highlight the DG’s extended tenure, emphasizing a noticeable lack of understanding of the agency’s core functions after six years in office. The management approach, likened to an academic environment, raises serious questions about her suitability for the position, compounded by allegations of working while on leave to collect estacode for personal trips.

It was uncovers that top management meetings at NAFDAC have not been held for a year, while tender board meetings have occurred almost ten times during this period.

Allegations extend beyond the agency, casting doubts on NAFDAC’s achievements, including concerns about the authenticity of the ML3 (Maturity Level 3) and WHO (World Health Organization) accreditation of the Drug Laboratory in Yaba.

Nearly 98 percent of the staff are reportedly aware of falsified data but fear repercussions due to the perceived authoritarian nature of the administration. Skepticism arises, suggesting these milestones may be based on fabricated data. Questions persist about laboratory instruments’ functionality, reagent availability, and the DG’s infrequent visits, intensifying doubts about claimed achievements’ legitimacy.

As calls for change gain momentum, advocates for a new leadership approach emphasize transparency, accountability, and a renewed commitment to NAFDAC’s regulatory mandate. Urging decisive government action, they stress the critical need to safeguard the agency’s integrity and restore public trust in its essential functions. Envisioned changes aim to steer NAFDAC toward effectiveness and excellence, ensuring it fulfills regulatory responsibilities for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Jude Ogbonna

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