Nafdac And Efficient Administrative Framework

Director-General, NAFADAC, Paul Orhi
Director-General, NAFADAC, Paul Orhi

Undeniably, the nation’s
health sector regulating organ –the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has indeed sustained competently, a highly commendable tempo as a progressively and purposefully repositioned agency given of its numerous outstanding  and continuous achievements since the emergence of its incumbent leadership.
An embodiment of humility, simplicity, sincerity, patriotism,  selflessness in service ,doggedness in commitment to modernized  scientific operations  and dynamic administrative practices, Dr Paul Orhii’s appointment as NAFDAC Chief Executive was never on a platter of gold .When appointed in 1999 by late President  Umaru Yar’Adua, not many welcomed the idea as it attracted series of criticisms from selected groups and individuals who later turned out to be championing personal, tribal and unpatriotic interests.
Considerably, who else would have been considered as most suitable a personality for this demanding assignment if not a man of this status who possesses  globally acknowledged intimidating credentials, being a Medical Scientist, Doctor, Pharmacologist, Legal Luminary and Technocrat?
To the then political leadership, it was obvious that the opposing groups and individuals in active connivance with some collaborating disgruntled  NAFDAC officials, were merely selfish, parochial, diversionary and undemocratic in their resistance cum desires and thus refused to be distracted and defocused by these wolves in sheep clothing whom obviously were merely placing their personal interest above national interest.
These destructive and disgruntled elements did not sheath their  swords as directed by government but rather merely restrategized for a more deadly  and disorganizing attack as it became evident  when they eventually threw in another explosive few months into the current NAFDAC administration. As is typical of a success desiring administrator, Dr Orhii had embarked on a radical  reform aimed at outrightly overhauling the agency through personnel reshufflement  leading to posting and changing /redeployment  of  its workforce from one duty post to another  as a preliminary move towards repositioning the agency for maximum productivity.
In connivance with their  NAFDAC inhouse counterparts ,these evil agents heaped unsubstantiateable allegations of sexual harassment and corruption on the amiable NAFDAC Director General in what later turned out to be a deliberately calculated attempt to derail Dr Orhii’s patriotic intentions and determination. Surprisingly, just like the proverbial corner stone, the agency’s helmsman, miraculously surmounted the progress truncating huddles and emerged more resolute, determined, committed and focused as could be seen in his series of Landmark achievements for the nation.
Also at the expiration of his first tenure in office in 2014,this notorious unpatriotic group sprang up again and launched another attack by urging the out-gone President Dr Goodluck Jonathan not to certify him for a second tenure in NAFDAC as head. Considering his numerous patriotic achievements, he was accorded a reappointment by the ex-administration .It is therefore not surprising that the same team  and  group of destroyers are at work again as usual haven stage managed the current unreasonable ,senseless and unnecessary crises resulting from mere staff redeployment exercise meant to overhaul  the agency’s administrative machinery by weeding out perceived corrupt, administratively bankrupt and unpatriotic and unproductive NAFDAC personnel  for reorientation particularly from its Account and Finance department.
Come to think of it. What is wrong in ordering periodic staff postings or transfers as the case may be? Is it proper that subordinates dictate to their boss or Chief Executive where to and not to be posted to? Is it not only corrupt staff that would like to remain permanently at a duty post and consequently resist redeployment at all cost including fighting and blackmailing his or her boss? It is in this regard that  the on-going dynamic and progressive administrative wind of change being blown into NAFDAC by Dr Orhii in a bid to entrench maximum sanity, dynamism, selfless  service, and patriotic tendencies in accordance with the yearnings of the President Muhammadu Buhari  led administration, must be radically sustained and outrightly embraced by all and sundry with a view to sieving the grains from the shafts at the agency.
Unquestionably ,the onus rests on the entire NAFDAC workforce to compulsorily  key into this patriotic  radical and global standard and very courageous personnel reform /reorganization  as only corrupt ,unpatriotic and unproductive staff will be contemplating  sabotaging this  noble and ideally focused initiative meant to restrengthen the agency for higher performance.
Ordinarily, a mere transfer of an organization’s personnel or internal reorganization of its workforce should not degenerate into crises or squabbles since no well meaning Chief Executive would condone any act of stagnation at duty post by his workforce or staff when self perpetuation  at duty post  is anti-productivity. This is more so as dynamism in productivity is widely acknowledged  as distinct and embraceable spice of economic prosperity. Incidentally,  inter –departmental staff reassignment /job rotation, is a regular and necessary administrative  practice which is known to often help broaden, boost as well as enriches their managerial and administrative wherewithal which in turn, will rub off  positively on an agency’s performance while making its personnel more competent ,professionally and strategically equipped for greater successes.
Why will a subordinate  NAFDAC staff, out of pride and pomposity,  castigate an internationally respected  seasoned and dynamic  administrator like Dr Paul Orhii in both domestic and foreign media  through frivolous, character assassinating, diversionary, distracting  and attention seeking allegations simply because  he is duely  and competently performing his statutorily assigned duties among which is staff rotation which of course  is his prerogative and in doing so ,must regard non as a sacred cow.
Importantly, unpatriotic elements in and outside NAFDAC who have become specialists in fanning embers of disunity, discord, and  administrative crises in the agency must desist forthwith  so as not to truncate stringent patriotic focus as well as persistent distinct exploits of its incumbent leadership aimed at maximally and positively repositioning the Nation’s healthcare delivery sector for effective and efficient global competitiveness.
Regrettably,one basic truth that has never been told about Dr Paull Orhii till date, is that the National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has indeed, progressively and greatly departed from what it was. While not undermining efforts of  previous NAFDAC regime, let me say without much trepidations that today’s NAFDAC under Dr Paul Orhii  who is generally regarded as Mr digital in view of his effort at digitalizing the agency’s operations, is more focused, more development driven, dynamic in moder nized  operation, more caring and concerned about its human resources welfare, and development ,more responsive in its operations, more massive and expansive in infrastructural development, more up to date in operational facilities acquisition etc.
Globally however, it is a common knowledge that healthcare regulation is an enormous task  which equally requires enormous funding hence the need for the Federal Government to intensify funding for the agency .When compared with international practices by similar health boosting and regulating agency, it becomes crystally clear that inspite of its very meager and highly publicized user fee collections, NAFDAC is being grossly underfunded .Sincerely speaking, Nigerians must cultivate the noble habit of celebrating and not willfully damaging or destroying  their heroes and patriots as a way of encouraging our  highly seasoned and competently trained citizens in the diaspora to patriotically contribute their quota towards national development.
Dr Paul B.Orhii has continously internationalised  indigenous regulatory efforts by compelling it to be in tandem with and even surpassing globally acceptable standards.Nigeria earned a prideful place in the global committee of nations when the incumbent NAFDAC management adopted the Global System of Mobile communication short message service{GSM SMS} as anti-counterfeiting tool being a novel innovation which drew applause patronage and admiration from numerous countries worldwide including United States of America.
Remarkably, the conferment of global status on our local drug plants through World Health Organization {WHO} good manufacturing practice pre-qualification certification to boost self-reliance in production and competitive export status is outrightly attributable to modern day NAFDAC.
While upgrading of both the agency’s human and infrastructural capacities to compete with dynamic global healthcare practices has been maximally upheld, international collaboration with similar  foreign agencies for the harmonization and coordination of  life elongating and standardized health boosting practices has remained an impressive tool for numerous successes in the global heath sector.
As a seasoned and globally certified health expert, Dr Orhii is convinced that Pharmaceutical products, in view of their unique nature ,are not to be ubiquitously sold and exhibited consequent upon which the regional Mega Drug Distribution Centers{MDDCs} and States Drug Distribution Centers {SDDCs]were conceptualized for adoption and subsequent implementation nationwide.
The nation’s ancient medical wherewithal has been maximally upgraded to favorably compete with modern western practices in the sector  while Nigeria has again won global recognition as an international clinical trial destination hub in an attempt to boost research, development, efficacy ,safety  and certification  of both Western and indigenous herbal preparations.
Considerably, broadening of the agency’s operational capacity and scope via multiplication of departmental structures as well as its robust , dynamic and patriotic positive results laden enforcement engagements have led to the harvesting of interceptions, confiscations and incineration of multi-billion naira worth  of substandard , counterfeited and fake NAFDAC regulated products nationwide.
On sanitisation of processed edibles and fortification of food with requisite vitamins,iodine etc, applaudable successes have been recorded in this direction among  which are: emphasizing hygienic practices, averting use of deadly contaminants like potassium bromate dough enhancer in baking, availing numerous food vehicles  with the needed vitamins and minerals  while appreciable decency has been maximally entrenched and courageously sustained in water packing while acquisition and usage of Agro and Industrial chemicals  are being distinctly coordinated to bring about  standardized practice in the sector.
Conclusively, NAFDAC has equally remained undaunted in its determination to ensure that acquisition, application and utilization of medical devices are done in accordance with specified modernised practices  for the upliftment of the nation’s progressing healthcare sector while the agency requires the support of all to sustain its earned gains and excel in this noble , patriotic  and commited efforts.
Ikhilae is a Lagos-based Public Affairs Analyst


Martins Ikhilae