FDB advocates adjustment of Retention Act

Posted: June 15, 2012 in Health
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), Stephen Opuni on Wednesday told the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to consider increasing their Retention Act to enable them have enough resources to fight counterfeit products that are smuggled into the country.“Mr. Chairman, considering the fact that there is an influx of counterfeit products, I would plead that you support us get more resources. The regulation of medicine and food products is very important, as far as health delivery is concerned.

“Because we protect public health, we would plead that in future you consider adjusting the Retention Act over a certain period of time to enable us put up laboratories and offices in all the ten regions,” pleaded the CEO of the FDB.

Mr. Opuni made this remark in response to a question on what measures the FDB had put in place to check the influx of counterfeit products in the country, when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, chaired by Albert Kan-Dapaah (MP).

He had appeared before the PAC to respond to a query on his outfit’s internally generated fund, which was audited and captured in the Auditor-General’s report for the year ending December 31, 2010.

To him, an 85% retention of all monies generated internally over a four or five year period would do a great service to his office in expanding its activities across the length and breathe of the country.

He told the committee members that the FDB was established without putting the necessary infrastructure in place, a situation he noted was causing the nation dearly since most of the counterfeit products were brought in through porous borders.

However, with the little resources at its disposal, Mr. Opuni said the FDB has been able to put up its own office and laboratory complex which it would soon move into.

That notwithstanding, four offices have been established at four entry points in the Volta Region apart from Aflao in addition to the one at Elubo to counter the activities of illicit trading in food and drugs brought into the country.

According to Mr. Opuni, since counterfeiters and smugglers keep on changing their routes, allocation of more resources would enable the FDB be on its feet to pursue the perpetrators.

In the meantime, he said he outfit was embarking on public education and collaborating with the security agencies to fight counterfeiting in the country.

With the support of Parliament and the general public, the FDB boss believes his outfit would make tremendous strike arguing that “if we don’t do that, public health will be under threat.”

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