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Regulatory Disconnect: Lawmakers, NAFDAC disagree over suspension of ban on sachet alcohol

Photo Collage of the Nigerian House of Representatives and NAFDAC Logo Credit: GazetteNgr

*The Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control considers the action of Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the agency, of refusal to obey its resolution on sachet alcohol ban as ‘a direct affront on the rule of law and the people’s Parliament’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In what can be described as regulatory discordance in the health sector, the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in the National Assembly (NASS), Abuja, FCT, has expressed displeasure over the alleged refusal of Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, to implement its resolution to suspend its ban on sachet alcohol in Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect reports the Federal lawmakers in the Lower Legislative Chamber also said the action of Prof. Adeyeye-led NAFDAC Management was disrespectful to the House of Representatives.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC (middle) making the announcment of ban on sachet alcohol      File Photo

It is recalled the House, in its resolution March 21, 2024, had directed the health sector regulatory agency to back down on the implementation of the sachet alcohol ban.

The House at the time adopted a motion sequel to the consideration of the Committee on NAFDAC to suspend the ban which the health regulatory agency has imposed on sachet alcohol and less than 200ml pet bottle.

The House, subsequently, directed NAFDAC lift ban on the said product, citing wrong timing and unstable state of the economy, where unemployment rate is staggering while the inflation rate keeps increasing.

Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on NAFDAC, at a press conference held Friday, May 24, in Abuja, however, said that the agency was duly served with the resolution.

Okonkwo observed, to the greatest surprise of the Committee, that the agency has failed to take any action to implement the House resolution.

The legislator stated: “The agency had failed to comply with the directives, two months after it was passed.

“You need not be told that the Parliament is the centrepiece of our democracy.

“If the Nigerian parliament that is the fulcrum and giant of African democracy is abused in this manner, the future of not only Nigeria, African democracy is doomed.”

NAFDAC’s refusal to obey resolution a display of impunity: Committee Chair

Hon. Okonkwo further said the Committee regretted the sudden deteriorating mutual relationship between the agency and the parliament.

According to him, the development is counter-productive to the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“We view the Director-General’s action as a direct affront on the rule of law and the people’s parliament.

“If this display of impunity is allowed to go through, it will set a dangerous precedent for future abuse and disregard for legislative directives,.”

The Chairman of the Committee also claimed that Prof. Adeyeye’s action clearly suggested insensitivity to the plights of Nigerian consumers.

Besides, Okonkwo maintained the action was also inform by paucity of Foreign Exchange (Forex) at the time.

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