By Asmau Ahmad
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Counter Terrorism Centre, have partnered to fight the menace of drug abuse, alcoholism and chemical misuse in the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, Mr. Olusayo Akintola, in Abuja on Sunday.
It was stated that the decision was reached when the management of NAFDAC, led by its Director-General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, paid a visit to NCTC headquarters in Abuja.
The media consultant, Akintola, quoted the NAFDAC DG, as saying that the visit was aimed at enhancing and strengthening the already existing working partnership between the two organisations in the areas of regulations.
In the statement, Prof. Adeyeye expressed the agency’s readiness to work with the centre to achieve a common goal.
The NAFDAC boss disclosed that drug abuse, chemical misuse and alcoholism have been labelled as major contributors to acts of terrorism and that there was a need for action to fight against them.
Prof. Adeyeye said that her agency now uses what is called ‘’Track and Trace’’, a traceability tool to regulate drugs and trace how the drugs move from manufacturers to end users.
She expressed confidence in the workability of the tool, stressing that unless the drug user is not on the planet Earth, the agency would always achieve its aims.
“We have global positioning systems that can pinpoint drugs to the nearest location. This is so important because the use of narcotics can alter the minds of its users and can lead to extremism, terrorism, loss of lives and loss of livelihood,” she said.
She congratulated the coordinator of NCTC for the monumental achievement in building the Centre, adding that this shows commitment to integration.
According to her, “We cannot work in silos and it is only when we work together, bring agencies of government together, that is when a tangible result can be achieved.
Prof. Adeyeye noted that collaboration is necessary with NAFDAC in the area of research, adding that NAFDAC can only do research with the collaboration of other agencies or academia, which have been a major contributor to the growth of the agency.
Responding, the coordinator of NCTC, Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa, explained that the essence of the partnership was to draw up the modalities of a partnership between the two agencies.
According to him, the two agencies had some engagements in the past and some decisions were taken.
“To what extent have the decisions been implemented and what factors are mitigating against the implementation of those not implemented,” he asked.
Musa said it was the right time for the two agencies to review previous activities and be able to re-strategize and inform the new government on areas that need further push whether it is policy push or strategy categorisation of plans.
“If we, do it now and we, do it right, we will be setting the new government on that pedestal to understanding us better and for us to be able to deliver more for the government.”
He highlighted the milestones of the centre and recognised NAFDAC as a formidable stakeholder in the centre’s evolution and development of some of its policies in addressing some issues of insecurity in the country.
Rear Admiral Musa gave an assurance that the centre intends to partner with research-based institutions like NAFDAC in many areas and to access global support to be domiciled at relevant institutions that require it for the purpose of operational use, training purpose, and research, including equipment.