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NAFDAC demands hazard allowance for staff

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Moji Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General,
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Tuesday demanded for hazard allowance its staff who play critical roles in the regulation of drugs and foods in the country.

Prof. Moji Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, made the demand at a news conference in Abuja while giving her stewardship in office in the last four years.

She said that the allowance became necessary following the threat some of the staff go through while discharging their duties.

The director-general stated that a lot of restructuring had happened in the agency to strengthen its workforce and reposition it to enable it carry out its mandate effectively.

Adeyeye disclosed that with the efforts the agency was putting up in the regulation of COVID-19 vaccine, Nigeria would be able to manufacture her own COVID-19 vaccine come 2022.

“I met an agency whose regulatory activities were at the lowest ebb, staff morale was low, glaring cases of indiscipline and labour union strikes as well as general lack of administrative focus and direction.

“I knew the regulatory framework was weak and therefore needed systemic overhauling. I quickly realised that it will take putting in place seven international building blocks that are based on World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

“For strong regulatory framework, a quality system approach or template must be in place that places premium on the customer. Therefore, we decided to adopt an agency-wide quality management system (ISO 9001) that took the entire staff through training.

“We have been working towards attaining maturity level three to enable Nigeria to strengthen our systems and to enable Nigeria manufacture vaccines,” she said.

She said that the WHO officials were in the country to audit the agency activities and were glad about what they saw on ground, adding that the basis for their satisfaction was on the different building blocks NAFDAC put in place.

Adeyeye said that the agency had restructured and expanded in structure from 13 directorates to 18 directorates across the country including the FCT, adding that five newly created directorates are laboratory services.

She added that 40 utility vehicles vital to the operation of the agency had been purchased, while another 73 vehicles were undergoing process by the agency, saying some of them would be used for state operations.

She said that the agency had revamped its information communication technology, and that there had been an improvement in the communication system between the agency and the public.

The director-general said that the agency had been proactive and vigilant in its investigation, enforcement, posts inspection and pharmacovigilance activities in the area of food safety, applied nutrition, narcotics and control substance.

She disclosed that the agency had deployed multifaceted strategies in its efforts to combat substandard, falsified, illicit drugs and chemicals.

Adeyeye said that the agency had established a traceability office and a technical working group to drive the activities in its five years implementation plan, adding that NAFDAC was now using traceability to monitor distribution of vaccines across the country.

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No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.

Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;

“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.

“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”

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Buhari jets out Turkey for summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.

According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.

This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.

The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.

The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.

It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.

President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.

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2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.

Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.

“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.

“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.

“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.

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