…As Air chief says NAF has acquired 22 aircraft to tackle Insurgency***
The Kaduna Inlanď Dry Port on Wednesday inaugurated National Agency for Food and Drug Administration’s (NAFDAC) Ports Inspection office for statutory inspections.
Specifically, the NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said the new office would ensure that regulated products imported into or exported out of Nigeria, meet requisite standards of safety and right quality.
She explained that the new office would regulate and control quality standards for foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and chemicals coming in through the dry port.
Adeyeye noted that thousands of Nigerians have died as a result of falsified and substandard medicines.
She added that many others have fallen sick due to consumption of unwholesome foods, drugs and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances such as codeine, Tramadol, Pentazocine among others.
The director general assured that NAFDAC would not compromise on its mandate of “protecting the citizens, especially children from drugs that will kill them on the long run.”
She stressed that the return of NAFDAC to the ports followed a strong recommendation by the National Security Adviser.
“Aside from the dangers posed to public health, involvement of our youths in abuse of drugs, weakens our national development, economy and nation building.
“This is as a result of accompanied side effects of abuse, such as disruption of life goals, ideals and families.
“Our agency will work with the Nigerian Customs Service, the Shippers Council and other sister agencies, regularly.
“We will ensure that foods, drugs, chemicals and other NAFDAC regulated products that pose danger to our population, are controlled at the point of entry,” she said.
Adeyeye added that the presence of NAFDAC at ports and borders would significantly reduce the evasion of payments of statutory fees for imported regulated products.
Also speaking, Executive Director, Inland Containers, Mr Chuka Offor, said the Kaduna inland dry port has commenced full operation, serving shippers and customers in the region.
Offor appreciated NAFDAC for opening an office in the port, stating that challenges with shipments that require NAFDAC clearance would now be addressed at the dry port.
It would be recalled that the Kaduna Dry Port was inaugurated for business by President Muhammad Buhari on Jan. 4, 2018.
In the meantime, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Wednesday confirmed that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) recently acquired 22 new aircraft to support various ongoing military operations across the country.
Abubakar made this disclosure while declaring open the NAF Finance Training Workshop with the theme: “Strengthening the NAF Finance Specialty for Efficient Service Delivery in Support of NAF Operations,” at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
He said that as at July 2015, the aircraft serviceability status of the Nigerian Air Force was below 60 per cent, but as at date, the aircraft serviceability status has improved beyond 80 per cent.
The Air Chief, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, AVM Mohammad Mohammad, said the NAF was able to deploy its platforms in support of military operations through prudent management of resources.
He said that NAF was not only striving to improve on the present status, but has complied with measures put in place by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.
According to him, in line with the anti-corruption drive of Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief, the NAF has complied with measures put in place by the Federal Government to aid transparency in government’s financial transactions.
“This measure include the Treasury Single Account, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, and the ongoing biometric data capture for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, just to mention a few.
“The recent feats achieved by the Service cost a lot of money.
“For the Government to continue providing the necessary funds to support Nigerian Air Force operations, it behooves on you to continue to maintain high level of integrity as finance personnel in the management of these public funds.
“It spite of a decline in governmental allocation, the Nigerian Air Force alongside sister services have been able to achieve commendable successes in counterinsurgency and the fight against armed banditry plaguing various regions of the country.
“The Nigerian Air Force has been able to effectively deploy its platforms to these areas in support of sister services.
“This much was achieved through prudent management of resources allocated to the Service and strict compliance with procurement laws,” Abubakar said.
He said the occasion is in line with two key drivers of his vision, which emphasised on human capacity building through robust and result oriented training and prudent management of resources.
Abubakar said the workshop is timely and very important to the service as a fighting force: “considering that the last workshop for all finance personnel was held in the year 2007.”
According to him, the overall attitude of the Nigerian Air Force today is in tandem with the theme for this workshop.
In his remark, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, said modern military requires specialists in all respects to successfully drive its core and other support mandates.
Idirs, represented by Mr Mohammed Kudu, a Director of Funds in the AGF Office, said “one way of overcoming the challenge of inadequate financing is the effective and efficient management of lean resources by competent and professional personnel in the face of competing demands.
“In that respect, the NAF would need to command the best in her officers through capacity building and thorough skill acquisition and exposure to the latest financial management programmes.
“NAF should also guarantee compliance with extant rules and regulations to foster accountability and probity in its operations.
“It should never be compromised in order to ensure a functional and highly efficient system,” he said.