The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has secured World Health Organisation (WHO)’s maturity level three certification.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye who disclosed this at a press conference on Wednesday, said the Vaccine Laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos, which is currently being constructed by the Federal Government, would be ready by the middle of the year.
The Federal Government had made known its intention to resume the production of vaccines locally.
The WHO had in February announced that Nigeria and five other African countries had been chosen to commence the production of vaccines.
Adeyeye said, “We are building the vaccine laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos, which will be ready by the middle of the year or early in the third quarter. This success was because of the support we got from the government.”
According to her, the agency scaled through 868 hurdles to secure the WHO maturity level three certification.
She stated, “We started this journey in January 2018, five weeks after my resumption as NAFDAC director-general. It was a torturous, tasking and highly demanding journey, but I went through it with the support of my directors, the governing council and other staff members, who made different kinds of sacrifices towards the realisation of the goal.
“When we started, the WHO listed 868 recommendations, which we must meet before we get to the maturity level three status. Initially, it sounded impossible, but my directors stood by me all the way, in addition to many others, who did all forms of sacrifices to ensure that we achieve the feat.
“In June 2019, WHO officials visited NAFDAC headquarters in Abuja to commence the benchmarking process. Out of the 868 recommendations they listed, we were able to meet over 600 of them and were left with 147 items, which were the most difficult ones at that time.”
“We started working at it. We organised town hall meetings and retreats for everyone involved along the chain. We made sure that NAFDAC was on the quality system, and that helped us greatly to achieve the feat.”