Abuja - Dr Paul Orhii, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Wednesday dismissed allegations of corruption levelled against him in an online media platform.
A former Director of Accounts in NAFDAC, Ademola Mogbojuri, accused Orhii of bypassing due process in the award of contracts in the agency.
Mogbojuri also accused the NAFDAC boss in an online media (Sahara Reporters) of misappropriating funds meant for the agency.
But briefing newsmen on the development in Abuja, Orhii described all the allegations made against him as lies.
He said that the allegation by the former director of accounts that he expended N9 billion unjustly and all other fabricated lies was done to gain cheap popularity.
"I was on Sallah break with my family when someone drew my attention to an article by the Sahara Reporters on massive fraud at NAFDAC.
"The article even mentioned names of some contractors and companies that due process was not followed in the award of contracts to them.
"I want to tell you that all the allegations are false.
"You heard that I have so many companies on ground that I award contracts to; you can go to Corporate Affairs Commission and verify.
"It is very easy to determine someone’s interest in a company. If your relatives are among the shareholders of a company it will show.
"So go and check. The companies have been doing business at NAFDAC long before I assumed duty and they still continued.
"The Director of Finance should have the correct information; I think it is both mischief and incompetence to say that we have hidden N9 billion over the last four years."
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The NAFDAC boss further explained that the contracts which Mogbojuri alleged were carefully awarded when he (Mogbojuri) was in charge of accounts department.
Orhii noted that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the agency which he improved from N2.5 billion when he took over to about N7 billion now, was used to run its activities outside payment of salaries.
"When I assumed office, we didn’t have an enforcement office; we bought land in Apapa and built a very big office, it is verifiable.
"The land in Benue is on ground. It has been fenced; it has a borehole meant to serve the communities. These are some of the allegations made against NAFDAC by Mogbojuri.
"We were given 20 hectares of land to build a NAFDAC office at the centenary city that is being built.
"10 years from now we will build a head office with a cafeteria and a crèche that will accommodate the children of our staff and international visitors can as well eat at the cafeteria."
Orhii further explained that the NAFDAC building located at Isolo, Lagos, which is now one of the best buildings in the area, was constructed with the revenue generated by the agency.
He said that the building alleviated the sufferings of staff that had to battle rain, rat and snakes when the agency operated from potter cabins.
The director-general said the NAFDAC Lagos building was now a land mark and that all due process were followed in the allocation of the contract including the furnishing.
The NAFDAC boss also pointed out that part of the funds generated by the agency were used for staff training both local and foreign.
He also said that NAFDAC dominated proceedings at last month’s drug standard meeting in China, Israel, Albania and Czechoslovakia.
"We have achieved world standard here at NAFDAC and we will soon be able to export medicine to other countries.
"Today, we have about four of these products that are manufactured and exported from Nigeria.
"Today, Nigeria can prevent cord infection during child birth and the drugs used are now being exported to other countries.
"Pneumonia treatments are also made available, we now manufacture disposable amoxilyn tablets and about 17 per cent of child birth deaths caused by Pneumonia, will no longer be a problem.
"Diarrhoea and few other ailments now have their treatment available in Nigeria; if we educate the midwives well, we will save both mothers and children from death at child birth," he said.