… As Author Flays Withdrawal

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Nigeria may not achieve the United Nation’s set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),which emphasises gross reduction in infants and maternal mortality rates if current government decision ordering NAFDAC operatives out of the nation’s seaports nationwide is not urgently reversed”,  Public Affairs Analyst and Author, Martins Ikhilae has warned.

Ikhilae who spoke with The Tide in a telephone chat on Friday, warned that if government went ahead to withdraw NAFDAC officials from the sea ports,it would endanger the lives of the citizens.

The analyst who described the planned decision as ill conceived,unpatriotic,untimely and outright unnecessary asserted that it was a time bomb which when exploded, would have a disastrous effect on the nation’s healthcare delivery system which was currently being laboriously overhauled by the nation’s rejuvenated health boosting organ, the National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The Analyst who is the author of the Nigerian Maritime further warned against hasty implementation of retrogressive policies which, he said were capable of retarding the nation’s long desired economic and socio-political development. He said that the pronouncement was indicative of the policy’s lack of adequate and broad based consultations before its adoption and subsequent implementation.

Ikhilae urged Nigerian Government not to allow itself to be misled by some self centred individuals merely masquerading as patriots by daring to toy with the nation’s life saving agency whose dynamic and selfless contributions towards efficient and effective healthcare delivery system was being ideally applauded both locally and internationally.

He maintained that although he was not against government decision to rationalise security agencies at seaports, he was out rightly opposed to the inclusion of NAFDAC in the list of agencies to be withdrawn adding that the scientific and very sensitive nature of the agency’s operations automatically exempt it from the list of withdrawable agencies.

The analyst argued that experience has shown over the years that the nation stands to loose enormous financial resources by withdrawing the agency from seaports pointing out that combating illicit importation of counterfeited pharmaceuticals and unwholesome processed foods at the pre-entry stage was easier and less expensive than the very strenuous, time consuming and highly capital intensive post-entry approach and therefore implored government to have a rethink by reverting to the statusquo.

According to him, ample evidences abound that operations of the agency in Nigerian seaports over the years has been highly revealing and marvelously rewarding having successfully curtailed influx of counterfeited drugs and unwholesome processed foods into the country.

Mr Ikhilae commended the agency’s management team for their patriotic efforts which brought about the introduction and adoption of ideally co-ordinated anti-counterfeiting strategies like the Electronic Clearance procedure, deployment of cutting edge technologies such as the Truescan,the GSM SMS text messaging system, the Radio Frequency identification system as well as the Black Eye machine to mention a few in a bid to ensure speedy clearance of imports.