CEM REPORT, HEALTH | The Senate in the course of the week passed a bill that amend and substitute certain sections and clauses of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Act.
The legislation sponsored by Goodluck Nanah Opiah seeks to further empower the agency in the performance of its duties as it reflects present-day realities.
The bill which stipulates stringent measure to deal with offenders also seeks to include a 15-year experience as a requirement for the appointment of a Director General of NAFDAC.
Also the bill includes the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Controller-General of Customs as part of the Governing Council.
A notable introduction in the bill is Clause 7 which proposes an amendment of section 25 by increasing the fines to be paid for obstructing an officer on duty from N5,000 to N100,000.
It states that “(1) A person who obstructs an officer of the Agency in the performance of his duties under section 24 or any provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder shall be guilty of an offense and liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not less than one year but not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
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Additionally, subsection 3 of the act also stipulates that “where there is no penalty specified under the act, the person shall be liable to a fine of N100,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
On the appointment of the Director General of NAFDAC, the bill introduces a minimum 15 years of experience in related field.
“(1) There shall be appointed for the Agency by the President, on the recommendation of the Minister, a Director-General who shall be a person with good knowledge of pharmacy, food, and drugs with not less than 15 years’ experience.”