The appointment of a new Director General for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) by the Federal Government has elicited wield jubilation by staff of the agency.
Stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry have also joined in the celebration over the appointment of the new Director General for the agency.
It would be recalled that the tenure of the former Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, ended early this month after serving for five years.
She was supposed to leave office since November 4, 2022, but she refused to leave. Her action almost led to an industrial unrest at the agency as the labour union were threatening for a showdown if she insisted on staying beyond her tenure.
The Federal Government in its wisdom, therefore appointed the most senior Director at the agency, Dr. Monica Hemben Eimunjeze, to lead the agency.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Monica was the Director Registration and Regulatory Affairs at the agency. She is a renowned pharmacist and have served in NAFDAC for over ten years.
A 1986 Ahmadu University Zaria pharmacy graduate, Dr. Monica earlier served as the technical assistant to the director-general of NAFDAC and as the director, drug evaluation and research.
An internal memo dated November 17, 2022, signed by Oboli A.U and copied to all directors at the agency stated that: “The management is in receipt of a letter appointing Dr. Monica Hemben Eimunjeze as the acting director-general of NAFDAC with effect from 12th November 2022,” the letter reads.
“I am therefore directed to bring this development to you for information and guidance.”
Responding to questions from journalists in Abuja, Friday morning, a top union leader who pleaded anonymity said that the staff of the agency were happy because the acting Director General is one of them who have worked in the agency for a long time, hence, have a good understanding of the agency.
He stressed that the five-year tenure of the former Director General were years of backwardness and stagnation by the agency.
“We are elated that the Federal government in its wisdom have appointed an acting DG for NAFDAC. Dr. Monica is one of us. She has been here for over ten years and she understands the challenges of the agency, hence, we believe she will give a good account of herself.
“We commend the Federal Government for its quick intervention because we were about to embark on an industrial action because of the refusal of the former DG to go for her retirement leave.
“We are happy and ready to work with her to restore the lost years of the agency,” the union leader said.
On their part, key stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry have also expressed gladness over the new appointment by the health ministry.
A prominent pharmacist in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who pleaded not to be named said that the last four years was “terrible” for NAFDAC.
“We have never experienced such backwardness in NAFDAC as this last four years. I can describe it as years of backwardness. Things have gone bad in the country in terms of regulation of pharmaceutical and related products.
“We are glad that there is a wind of change. We believe the new DG will do well and we will support her”