By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde said on Monday that the state government was ready to partner with the National Agency for Foods, Drugs, Administration, and Control (NAFDAC) to rid the state of illicit drugs.
Makinde, who stated this while receiving the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mrs. Mojisola Adeyeye in a courtesy visit to his office, said that NAFDAC was very crucial to the sustenance of sound health in the country.
He also stated that the state government was already warming up to take full advantage of the Dry Port being constructed in Ibadan.
The Governor said, “Health is one of the pillars which this administration is resting on. We believe if there is security and a healthy body, we can go out to work and move from poverty to prosperity.”
He added,”NAFDAC and this government will definitely be partners in progress. A couple of things have also happened here so far. In Oyo State, I believe in the next maybe a year or two, we will have our own dry port here. It is in our own interest and that of NAFDAC that we plan for expansion in the scope of activities for the state office here because of the headache of Apapa in Lagos.”
The governor said that his administration will assist NAFDAC to combat the menace of illicit, and substandard drugs across the State adding that the State would look into the requests tendered to him by the agency and act as appropriate.
“It was imperative for the state to support NAFDAC in order to ensure the protection of lives of the people against illicit drugs and dangerous processed food,” he said.
He said that with the emergence of Dry Port in Ibadan, the work of the agency would be definitely needed.
He stated further: “NAFDAC and this government will definitely be partners in progress. A couple of things have also happened here so far. In Oyo state, I believe, in the next maybe a year or two, we will have our own Dry Port. It is in our own interest and that of NAFDAC that we plan for expansion in the scope of activities for the state because of the headache of Apapa in Lagos.
“If somebody is coming from the Northern part of the country and he can pick his container here in Ibadan, why would he have to drive to Lagos. They will pick it from here and make a turnaround back to the Northern part of the country.”
He stated that now that the standard gauge rail line by the Federal Government has reached Ibadan, the state will make adequate use of the Dry Port located at Olorisa-Oko in Akinyele Local Government as according to him, people from the South East, South-South, the North and the majority of south-West states would not have reasons to go to Apapa in Lagos to clear their cargoes.
The DG of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, had told the Governor that the purpose of the visit was to seek the assistance of the State Government in combating the menace of illicit drugs and substandard drugs across the Country.
Adeyeye said the agency operates in all the 36 states and the FCT, adding that it needed the assistance of the state governors for it to perform optimally.
The DG who led the management team of the agency and Southwest state coordinators to the office of the governor, requested for a befitting place for the agency’s office and operation vehicles from Oyo state government.
”We request for unused/abandoned building to renovate or land that the agency can build its state office.”
She hinted that the agency has National Taskforce resident at its headquarters and also State Taskforce that is supposed to reside in each state.
She said without the support of the state governments; the agency would not be able to control illicit, falsified, substandard/herbal medicines.
”We need the help of our governors to join hands with our Federal Task Force to assist us to combat the menace of illicit, substandard, falsified drugs including herbal medicines.