Posted by By CHRIS ANUCHA on
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised alarm over the security of its personnel and equipment at the volatile Oshodi area of Lagos. The latest alarm came on the heels of the discovery on Monday, of shattered glass windows of the agency’s laboratory.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised alarm over the security of its personnel and equipment at the volatile Oshodi area of Lagos.
The latest alarm came on the heels of the discovery on Monday, of shattered glass windows of the agency’s laboratory.
It would be recalled that after the agency’s office at the Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi, was razed by fire in 2004, Oshodi, apart from its original position of housing the laboratory, became the main office for both the director-general and majority of NAFDAC officers.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos yesterday on the incident, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Lagos, Mrs. Christiana Obiaziakwor said the frightened staff had no clear idea of who and when the bullet pierced through and entered the laboratory.
Conducting newsmen round the affected laboratory later, NAFDAC Director of Enforcement, Pharmacy, Dioka Ejionueme, said the Director-General, Professor Dora Akunyili, was concerned about the safety of the staff and that of the sensitive and costly laboratory equipment located at Oshodi.
The director explained that the consequences would have been grave if people were in the laboratory when the bullet pierced through the window.
Ejionueme said there was need for Oshodi office of the agency to be re-located to a more secure environment outside Oshodi which is notorious for frequent eruptions of violence between the police and hoodlums.
The director said: “Considering the nature of the agency’s mandate, Oshodi is not suitable to remain the nerve centre of NAFDAC activities in Lagos.”
According to him, the agency had been making efforts to secure a safer and conducive office complex to house all displaced staff from Ikoyi.
It would be recalled that NAFDAC has been having running battles with hoodlums and drugs barons since the Dora-Akunyili –led war on fake and counterfeit regulated products started.
In such battles, Oshodi has had its fair share. For instance, there was a bomb blast in the laboratory on January 27, 2002, followed by an armed attack on August 29, 2002.
In each of the incidents, the agency recorded massive destruction of the laboratory building and equipment.
It would also be recalled that the attacks on Oshodi office was followed by the assassination attempt on Prof. Dora Akunyili on December 26, 2003, after which he NAFDAC office at the Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi, was razed on March 7, 2004, followed by another fire incident at the agency’s laboratory in Kaduna.