The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as a maturity three(ML3) regulatory agency.
Announcing the news to the media in Abuja, the Director General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye said the immediate benefit of attaining ML 3 certification meant that Nigeria can now manufacture its own vaccines through NAFDAC, adding that the process has started with the construction of a vaccine laboratory in Lagos.
She explained that the next step for the agency was to work towards achieving Maturity Level Four, which the NAFDAC boss assured would make locally manufactured pharmaceutical products acceptable globally.
‘We are already working on Maturity Level four which will enable any products we approve as a regulatory agency to be traded globally. Since we don’t produce, the pharmaceutical companies that produce will have a larger market
” There is no fear on our side getting certification for maturity four because we have our template and we have been recertified by WHO since 2019, once we get recertified by November this year, we start self-auditing, which is going to keep us on our toes. This has to be sustained because they will be coming every three years”, she affirmed.
Describing the milestone as massive and heartwarming for Nigeria, Adeyeye said that the journey to attain the status which began in January 2018
has ranked Nigeria behind Tanzania and Ghana, in WHO classification.
The NAFDAC Boss however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the agency by magnanimously giving seven hundred and thirty-six million to equip the laboratories, which she noted made the achievement possible.
In her words, ” When I came on board, 70 to 80 per cent of our laboratories equipment were not working and President Buhari intervened and gave us 736 million to equip our laboratories
” President Buhari also gave us four billion to buy more equipment and build a vaccine laboratory which is almost completed. it is the tools that earn us this, and I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his kind gestures”.
For his part, the Chairman, NAFDAC Governing Board, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman stated that the certification to Maturity level 3 by WHO is an indication that NAFDAC is well functioning and a global agency.
Commending the present administration for the support, Suleiman said NAFDAC already has the target to cross the last hurdle of maturity level four(ML4), this he said