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Gov Otti pays tribute to Akunyili, pledges collaboration with NAFDAC to combat fake drugs

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Gov Otti pays tribute to Akunyili, pledges collaboration with NAFDAC to combat fake drugs

Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, the governor of Abia State, has paid homage to the memory of the late former Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Dora Akunyili.

Governor Otti, who said he had close family relationship with Professor Akunyili and her equally late husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, called for a minute silence in honour of the two, when he met with the Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, in Government House, Umuahia, on Tuesday.

The NAFDAC DG had called on Governor Otti as part of her working visit to Abia State.

The Governor commended Professor Adeyeye for the passion that she brought to bear on her work, saying she reminded him so much of Professor Akunyili.

“Reading about you, talking to you and the way you have carried on with the function of directing the affairs of your office in NAFDAC, any time I come in contact with you, I think of Dora, because the same passion you are bringing to this job was the same passion she brought to the job as at the time she did it.

“I want to thank you for all what you have done and for what you’re going to do. I want to thank you for working for our people. I know you don’t have any personal interest. It is the interest of the people,” Governor Otti said.

He pledged to collaborate with NAFDAC in its crusade against counterfeit drugs and substandard products.

Gov Otti pays tribute to Akunyili, pledges collaboration with NAFDAC to combat fake drugs

A minute silence in honour of Professor Dora Akunyili and her husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili.

The Governor who emphasised the crucial role that NAFDAC plays in protecting citizens, commended the Agency’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding public health and consumer rights against counterfeit and adulterated products.

He however expressed regret over the loss of lives due to fake drugs and substandard products and vowed that his administration would not relent in it’s efforts to eradicate harmful products.

The Governor recounted an instance where NAFDAC’s swift action in collaboration with the Abia State Government led to the shutdown of a haven for counterfeit products in Aba, and pointed out that the state is committed to ensuring public health and safety.

“A lot of people die because they consume fake products, fake medications, fake food, so we will not stop until we completely eradicate them,” Governor Otti assured.

He outlined proactive measures implemented by the State, including the establishment of a unified task force to combat negative trends and address various offences.

Governor Otti emphasised the state government’s commitment to harnessing the potential of Abia youths for constructive purposes and underscored the importance of transitioning from fake to authentic products as well as promoting local branding initiatives.

“Fake is fake and the original is original. It just takes a little effort to migrate from fake to original. So, while we are fighting those who are faking products, we’ve also tried to reorientate our people that if you have the capacity to do the fake one, why don’t you migrate and do the original one.

“Our fight is to upgrade the positive energy and ensure that the negative energy is dwindled completely. If we can’t eradicate it, who else would do it than government. So, we’ve taken it as our responsibility to support you in this fight and support ourselves also,” Governor Otti stated.

Earlier in her remarks, Prof. Adeyeye reiterated NAFDAC’s mandate to regulate and control the production, importation, exportation, advertisement, sale, and use of various regulated products, including drugs, food, chemicals, cosmetics, and packaged water, to ensure the safety of consumers.

The NAFDAC DG, emphasised the importance of engaging with Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and underscored the need for coordinated wholesale centers to monitor the distribution of drugs and related products, thereby preventing the proliferation of counterfeit goods and safeguarding public health.

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She thanked Governor Otti for the express approval granted NAFDAC for a land to build a befitting office space in Aba.

In attendance at the meeting with the NAFDAC DG and her team were the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo; Commissioner for Digital Economy and SMEs, Matthew Ekwuribe; and some other Senior aides of the Governor.

Gov Otti pays tribute to Akunyili, pledges collaboration with NAFDAC to combat fake drugs

 

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