WHO auditing NAFDAC for COVID-19 vaccines production –DG

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, on Wednesday, said the agency is being audited by the World Health Organisation to prepare Nigeria for local production of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Adeyeye disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday at the maiden interaction with stakeholders organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations in Abuja on Wednesday. 

The DG said NAFDAC supervises 165 pharmaceutical industries, over 45, 000 food manufacturing industries and over 5000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the food and drug industry.  

Adeyeye, who was represented by the Director of Planning Research and Statistics, NAFDAC, Fori Tatama, said the agency takes the issues of health, safety and environment seriously. 

 Speaking on why the DG could not come in person, Tatama said, “She is currently discussing with the WHO because the WHO is carrying out an audit of NAFDAC, which will enable the country to start manufacturing vaccines. The programme started on Monday and will last till Friday.” 

Also at the session, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity called for quick passage of the Operational Safety and Health Bill to ensure proper regulation of safety in workplaces across the country. 

The Ministry’s Director, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Mrs. Lauretta Adogu, said, “The Bill will seek to make comprehensive provision for operational health and safety in work and other matters. 

“It will also seek to establish a national council for occupational safety and health. It addresses several important issues and widens the scope of legislation as the new Act will apply to all workplaces because we enforce operational safety and health in Nigeria.”

 The Department of Petroleum Resources, also at the meeting, said most accidents in gas stations and filling stations happen where such stations are not licensed by it. 

The Head of Safety and Environment, DPR, Adeniyi Balogun, said, “What we have observed is that most of those accidents happen in stations that are not licensed by DPR. That is a big challenge for us. When we license a company, we make sure that a rigorous process is done to make sure you are qualified to do that operation. But we are doing our best in collaborating with law enforcement agencies to make sure we dismantle any such stations not licensed. The effort is ongoing.”

Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Hamza, earlier said the entrenchment of effective safety and health systems requires collective commitment and consultations between all stakeholders.

“The objective of this interactive session is to foster collaborative efforts and actions towards the task ahead. It is also for the purpose of acquainting the Committee with the present position of safety measures put in place by stakeholders,” he said.

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