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NAFDAC suspends official for illegally aiding vendors to get approvals for honey products after The ICIR report


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THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, suspended an official of the agency Michael Ikoro for helping vendors of honey products to obtain certification through illegal means, following The ICIR report.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by NAFDAC’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Director Clementina Ayankora, who was guest on a radio programme “Public Conscience on Radio”, on Nigeria Info 95.1, Abuja which is hosted by Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG.

She explained that the agency does not condone corruption and a disciplinary committee was set up by the agency to investigate the allegations against Ikoro before a decision would be taken.

“We have commenced an investigation and the appropriate action is going to be taken…any staff that is involved will face the consequences,” she said.

Anyakora also acknowledged that Ikoro may not have been working alone, stating that the certification process does not stop at the table of a single staff but involves the inputs from different personnel.

In a report published by The ICIR in December 2019, Ikoro was implicated in a corruption scheme as he was alleged to be in collusion with honey producers and other relevant government agencies to obtain approvals for their products through the backdoor for a fee.

Confirming, that NAFDAC’s team had visited the tagged stores selling the honey products but only found one brand which already has been sent to the laboratory for analysis but Anyakora hinted that the result wasn’t out yet.

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She also stated that NAFDAC had demonstrated its commitment to discipline several corrupt officials in the past, who were subsequently dismissed for various illicit practices.

“One of the cases was somebody that was extorting money from people in the name of giving them jobs in NAFDAC, and when it was discovered, after the investigation, the staff was dismissed,” she said.

Ajibola Amzat, the editor of The ICIR who was also a guest on the programme noted that The ICIR had to check the stores for substandard honey due to the level of impurity discovered in the various brands.

He said the honey samples were examined at the laboratory of the Environmental Protection Board in Kaduna, a laboratory different from that of NAFDAC’s, due to the delay encountered in a previous case where the agency was not forthcoming with results.

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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