JULY 20, 2015 : BUKOLA ADEBAYO AND ERIC DUNMO
The crisis rocking the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control has taken another twist as the redeployed former Finance Director, Ademola Mogbojuri, on Sunday, accused the NAFDAC’s Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, of corruption.
Mogbojuri accused Orhii of financial recklessness, saying he had evidence of inappropriate financial transactions involving the DG.
He said this while reacting to accusations by the workers’ union in the agency that he had shown disrespect to Orhii on many occasions.
The Medical and Health Workers’ Union of the agency addressed a press conference on Saturday, during which they also accused Mogbojuri of gross misconduct and financial impropriety.
The NAFDAC’s former finance director told one of our correspondents on the phone that he had documents to prove the reckless running of the agency by Orhii, who he alleged, spent money without following due process.
He said, “I am not the one who wrote to Sahara Reporters or even petitioned the Federal Government on the crisis in NAFDAC as widely claimed. The truth of the matter is that the DG is quite reckless with spending.
“Before he joined the agency in 2009, the annual total revenue of NAFDAC was about N2.5bn and he met around N600m in the account. Now, the total internally generated revenue is about N9bn and the agency owes about N5bn in debt.
“Every month, I wrote about the financial position of the agency to the DG and supported it with relevant documents. Part of what we owe are government remittances which are about N1.4bn but he never allowed me to pay because he was scooping the money.
“Some of the companies they use to carry out the deals have collected over N6bn in the last two years. Towards the general election this year, he collected a lot of money and used it to buy vehicles, which he branded and gave to a governorship aspirant in his native Benue State. The financial recklessness of the DG has brought NAFDAC onto its knees.
“The DG swapped me, a trained accountant with a statistician, who used to head the Planning, Research and Statistics section but I never protested. The posting they did on Thursday in which they moved me to Kaduna, I have not received the letter even as we speak, so how do I say I am resuming anywhere? This is the second time I would be redeployed within a month. The impunity in NAFDAC is too much.
“They have moved other five personnel from the finance department in the last one month to cover the mess. Some people from the DG’s village in Benue State, who do not work with NAFDAC, are paid travel allowances and I have the records.”
But the chairman of the NAFDAC’s workers’ union, Isa Ibrahim,at the press conference accused Mogbojuri of demanding bribe before releasing approved monies for projects and the day-to-day running of the agency while also allegedly refusing to pay workers their entitlements on time.
Ibrahim, said, “On numerous occasions the DG would approve funds to carry out some projects but the directorate of finance, rather than honour the approval, would tell us there is no money. The director in question was transferred recently to another section but he refused to go. He does not obey or regard the DG or any constituted authority. Nobody should be bigger than NAFDAC. It is an act of insubordination that we must not allow to continue.
“We have been experiencing anarchy and impunity from that director over the years. He messed up the entire place and we are happy and stand by the DG for finally getting him out of the finance department.”
But Mogbojuri, who has since been moved to the NAFDAC Training Institute in Kaduna, said he was being victimised for refusing to be a part of the massive corruption going on in the agency. He said the corruption was being led by the DG.