AS this eventful year 2014. rolls by, Nigerians must untrepidatiously acknowledge patriotically that positive transformation In every facet of human endeavor is a necessity  which must compulsorily and maximally be embraced by a nation committed to the enrichment and betterment of its nationals both socially, economically and politically.
This perhaps, explains the rationale behind the resolve of the president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan led Nigerian government to embrace out rightly dynamic, progressive, resource driven and globally comparable achievements in virtually all segments of the Nations success desires. When critically and honestly examined, human desire to maximize it’s potentials in all segments of its desire ability be it social, economic or political is unquestionably predicated on the sustainability of its physical and mental wellbeing which indicates why good health is indeed a necessity for a Nation’s successful advancement.
Invariably, the sustenance of good and qualitative health care is largely dependent on the availability, dependability and guarantee ability of ideal health boosting substances – drugs, processed edibles as well as other catalysts (chemicals) engaged in both agro and other human healthcare sustaining processes.
Intricately, this undeniably has remain the focal operational considerations of the Benue born Chief Executive and Director General of the National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr. Paul B. Orhii in tune with the Nations Transformative initiative. Through enhanced digitalization of scientific operations for effectiveness and efficient development in the Nation’s health care sector, the Nigeria health boosting and sustaining agency- NAFDAC, successfully brought to bear on the Nigerian citizenry series of additional dynamic successes in the outgoing year 2014.
Retrospectively, the sustenance, advancement, embracing and adoption of the globally applauded technological innovations tagged cutting -edge anti-counterfeiting technologies which is embracive of the Global System for mobile Communication (G.S.M) short message service, the Black Eye Machines, Mini Lab Test Kits, the Radio Frequency Identification System and Truscan merchines remains a Nigeria mystery to the global community as far as anti- drug counterfeiting efforts is concern.
Appropriately regulating food for human consumption, the Agency ensured that good and standardized production and hygienic practices were out-rightly embraced by fast food service / centers operators (eateries) why Bakers were compelled to desist from  utilizing the detested cancer disease causing Potassium Bromate in baking, promoting the adoption of cassava flower in baking including export of value – added agricultural products, fortification of food vehicles with Vitamin ‘A’ and other micro nutrients as well as entrenchments and continuation of the universal salt iodization scheme aimed at eliminating iodine deficiency disorders in Nigeria.
Inclusively is it’s intensive public enlightenment and sensitization of Nigerian nursing and expectant mothers on the need to embrace intensive breast milk feeding for their infants/ new born babies in accordance with internationally acceptable best practices in this regard.
The introduction of small business support units / desks aimed at developing small businesses , the Electronic registration and evolvement of electronic clearance portal for the sole purpose of fast tracking online electronic clearance of goods at the Nation’s Ports thereby preventing trade inhibition as well as the Automated Products Administration and Monitoring Solution (NAPAMS) of the Agency including the strenghtening of its regulatory capacity through up-grading of NAFDAC surveillance Systems and man power development via modernized international standard trainings for the agency’s work force equally remain unignorable.
On safe and responsible / careful use of Agro – Chemicals, the Agency under itsincumbent leadership successfully evolved distinct and efficient guidelines cum standardized operating procedures for Chemical regulation and control while Risk Assessment and Field Trials for fertilizers were equally  efficiently embraced for adequate control and management of Agro-   Chemicals.
In the aspect of massively enlightening / educating the general public with the intension of creating maximum awareness on its operations , the management equally brought novel practices to bear in this regard by sustaining and improving its domestic and international Television programme named: NAFDAC and Your Health , printing and circulation of bills, development and publication of in-house magazines , NAFDAC number Radio programme aired across numerous Radio stations in States Nationwide , sustenance and modification of the unique NAFDAC consumers safety club , the NAFDAC and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Community Development service programme .
Additionally, intensive and persistent advocacy visits by the  NAFDAC Chief Executive to  political office holders (ie state governors, members of parliaments, local government chairmen etc),Royal fathers, community heads, non-governmental organisations, as well as collaborative visits to chief executives of  other government parastatals like the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Road Safety Commission, Consumers Protection Council just to mention a few nationwide has equally added impetus and maximum support and backing to the agency’s exploits targeted towards boosting and elongating Nigerians life.
Aside the creation of a Marine  division through acquisition  and deploying of patrol boats to combat illicit smuggling of the agency’s regulated products through the Nation’s water ways, NAFDAC successfully co-opted operators of shipping firms, courier firms as well as airline operators into collaborative anti-regulated products counterfeiting and smuggling activities.
The entrenchment and sustenance of the agency’s desk offices in the Nation’s 774 local government areas for effective and efficient grass root liaison / effect, introduction of consultative forum with NAFDAC stake holders, regular hosting of town hall meetings, workshops as well as the successful infusion of Food and Drug Safety Education into the Nation’s basic school curriculum including efficient collaboration with both indigenous and international organizations are indeed worthy of mention.
Despite broadening the agency’s operational scope through expansion via creation of more departments/directorates, staff upliftment/promotion exercises, it midwife distinct drug markets thereby bringing about the emergence of Regional Mega Drug Distribution Centre’s (MDDCs) and States Drugs Distribution Centre’s (SDDCs).
On water certification, to guarantee good, safe, and drinkable water for all, the agency successfully ushered into the country the Mobile Digital Water Testing Service System which is the first of its kind in the Nation’s history of water packaging regulation and certification to effect an on-the-spot assessment and certification of sachet and bottled water to complement its physical factory-to –factory inspection service through which numerous water producing plants were certified and some erring water producing firms disqualified Nationwide.
The laborious earning of global recognition for Nigeria indigenous drug plants through the World Health Organization(W.H.O) pre-qualification good manufacturing practice certification which led to the emergence of four pharmaceutical plants –Swiss pharmaceuticals , May and Baker Nigeria ltd, Chi pharmaceuticals and  Evans Medical Plc. as premier beneficiaries of this Orhii initiative is indeed worthy of note in this direction.
Enforcement activities of the agency has remained unbelievably impressive  with  multi-billion naira worth of fake/ counterfeit pharmaceuticals, unwholesome foods including other substandard regulated products intercepted, seized and destroyed. On the other hand, successful apprehension/ arrest, prosecution and conviction of perpetrators of these heinous, obnoxious and  murderous acts, numerous culprits/suspects irrespective of societal status i.e.(high profile cases) were successfully  handled by the agency.
While numerous impressive high profile convictions were equally successfully secured by the agency in law courts resulting in long jail term sentences handed over to culprits, thereby marking a radical departure in the agency’s enforcement exploits, a total overhaul of NAFDAC enabling legal frame work to accord it a befitting enforcement strength was equally achieved thereby upgrading its enforcement operations and techniques/capabilities. While maximum and internationally acceptable standard of sanity was entrenched in Herbal Medicine Practice Nationwide, the agency under the current management has also performed distinctly in infrastructural development thereby bringing about the construction, rehabilitation and re-equipping of sophisticated scientific laboratories, acquisition, refurbishing and building of new office accommodations for the agency in other states of the federation  including staff residential quarters among others.
Another dynamic innovation in its anti- counterfeiting crusade is the engagement of indigenous celebrities-Singers, Actors, and Actresses. For instance an acclaimed Nigeria singer Mr. Tu-face Idibia was recently adopted as NAFDAC Ambassador thereby enhancing dynamic positive enlightenment campaigns for the agency’s activities both indigenously and globally.
Astonishingly in an attempt to further boost its consumer engagement efforts, NAFDAC  successfully put forward to the general public efficient mobile  applications while simultaneously sustaining as well as introducing series of novel practices into the agency’s annually honor/ awards for deserving members of NAFDAC Workforce.  Implicatively, this has resulted in the presentation of series of distinct honors , awards, rewards, upliftment and recognition to NAFDAC staff who successfully performed assigned official duties outstandingly , uniquely and remarkably.
Understandably, there is no doubt that NAFDAC Director General is living up to his promise not to rest on his oars, while striving to ensure that counterfeiting of the agency’s regulated products in the federal republic of Nigeria  out rightly becomes a thing of the past.
Unrivaled international exposure and enhancement of NAFDAC operations leading to series of international responsibilities and engagements on the path of the agency and its substantive Chief Executive such as being appointed as Vice Chairman of the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) based in Geneva ,Switzerland comprising 193 member Nations globally.
Also in an attempt to strengthen the agency’s workforce intellectual capacity, the organization’s libraries were maximally upgraded and equipped with assorted ultra-modern electronic facilities to enable it contend with modern global practice  leading to acquisition of electronic data base for its libraries Nationwide.
International partnership for effective anti- drug counterfeiting activities has led to the sustenance of robust working relationship with numerous countries of the world like United States of America, the People’s Republic of China, Argentina, Canada, India, the European Union Nations, Brazil, Pakistan , Afghanistan, Russian Federation, Libya, African Countries, Romania. Etc.
Apart from also earning the coveted Chairmanship of the West African Drug Regulatory Authorities Network (WA.D.R.A.N)  which is a union of all West African Nations Pharmaceutical products  regulatory bodies, Chairman W.H.O ‘S  Mechanism for the international fight against spurious , substandard and counterfeit medicines known as the organizations members state mechanism on substandard , spurious, falsely-labelled, falsified, counterfeited medical products. Undoubtedly, these unquantifiable impacts and achievements has numerously earned for the agency and Nigeria mass excellence awards both at home and abroad.
However, these historic, laudable and highly appreciable performance /stewardship is not without series of supreme sacrifices made by the agency’s patriotic personnel whose performance has been at the expense of their life thereby necessitating the clamour for comprehensive life insurance policy and befitting internationally comparable remuneration for them as an ideal motivational tonic.
For instance, while assassination attempt was made on Dr Paul.B. Orhii NAFDAC  Director General recently, one of its senior officials in its ’Rivers State, Port-Harcourt office  Mr Emeka Obi Nwolie  (now late) was murdered ,four of its staff who had gone on condolence visit to the deceased family were equally adopted but later released. Its personnel at Osun State, Oshobgo Mrs Yeduni Adenuga who led a team of inspectors on routine inspection to bakeries in the state were mercilessly attacked  and almost lynched by a mob supporting a bakery operator/owner Mr Nurudeen Afolabi who was found in possession of a banned killer/Cancer causing substance known as Potassium Bromate.
Also recently, two staff of the agency attached to its Delta state office in Asaba narrowly escaped  death along the Onitsha – Asaba expressway while on official assignment when the agency’s official multi-purpose Hilux vehicle got involved in a terrible accident .These are few of several such incidences as the list is endless.

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Martins F.O. Ikhilae
Is a Lagos Based Public Affairs Analyst?
Tel:08023405821 , E-mail: [email protected]