18th October, 2011
The House of Representatives on Tuesday mandated the Joint Committees on Health,
Industry and Drug and Nacotics to investigate the withdrawal of NAFDAC and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) from the nationsâ€™s seaports.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee is expected to report its findings to the House within two weeks.
NAN recalls that President Goodluck Jonathan on October 10 approved the withdrawal of 10 government agencies from the countryâ€™s seaports for non-compliant with international best practices.
This resolution emanated from a motion by Rep. Uzor Azubuike (PDP-Abia) which was unanimously adopted.
Leading the debate, Azubuike noted that it would be out of place to eject relevant agencies like NAFDAC and SON from the ports in view of the fight against fake and adulterated drugs.
He urged members of the House to support the motion in order to allow the agencies perform their constitutional duties at the ports.
Rep. Joseph Haruna (CPC-Nasarawa), who supported the motion, argued that the agenciesâ€™ role was crucial to the fight against fake drugs in the country.
“I think that NAFDAC should remain at our borders to check substandard goods coming into the country,â€™â€™ he said.
Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN-Lagos), the Minoriy Leader, suggested a review of laws guiding the operations of the agencies to check the rate at which the executive arm of government took decisions on them.
He noted that the mere proposal of motions on the floor of the House would not have much effect.
Rep. Asita Honourable (PDP-Rivers), said that there was a need for the executive arm to explain to the House why the decision was taken.
He said that what government ought to do now was to strengthen the agencies instead of withdrawing them from the seaports.
Rep. Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta), the Deputy Leader, argued that in as much as there was a need to discourage physical inspection at our ports, withdrawing the agencies could be detrimental to the nation’s interests.
In another motion, the House mandated its committee on Health to investigate alleged N17 billion contract for the purchase of hospital equipment for Federal Medical Centres across the country.
This was sequel to a motion by Rep. Patrick Ikhariale (PDP-Edo), which was adopted by the House.
Leading the debate, Ikhariale said that the contract was awarded in 2005 with the first consignment lying idle and obsolete.
He noted that no contract awarded by government without any time frame.
Meanwhile, the House has mandated its committee on Federal Character to investigate the alleged lopsidedness in the award of Federal Government projects across the country.
The committee is also expected to report to the House in two weeks.
Similarly, the House has also mandated its committee on States and Local Governments to investigate the alleged illegal actions of some local government officials on federal roads.
It also urged the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, to rid the federal highways of the local government tax collectors.