Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says she was once asked for bribe by the house of representatives committee on healthcare services.
Speaking when she featured on a Channels TV programme on Friday, Adeyeye said the committee asked her for the bribe in the form of “money for welfare” when they visited her in December, 2017.
The NAFDA DG said this happened at a time the agency was “bleeding profusely” as a result of lack of funding.
According to her, “when I came to NAFDAC, there were a lot of things that were wrong. Take oversight function or whatever that is done, I was shocked when I was told to give money, I said money for what? … money to the committee that visited us. The health care services committee of the house of representatives.
“This was 2017 December, not even a month to my resumption. We don’t have another country, this is Nigeria. I was shocked first because, this was the same day I went for a Powerpoint presentation… we don’t have equipment, about 70 percent of our equipment need to be upgraded.
“We don’t have vehicles and you use vehicles to go after the bad guys or to ensure compliance. Our directors didn’t have computers, laptops, it was shortly after that, they then asked me (and said) we need welfare.”
“I said I cannot. For just the visit? I couldn’t believe my ears because it saddens me. Yes, it can be referred to as them asking for bribe. It saddens me. This is an organisation that was bleeding profusely.”
Adeyeye added that that day was “the worst day of my professional life” as NAFDAC DG and that her refusal did not go down well with the lawmakers.
“It wasn’t taken well at all. I was threatened and I couldn’t believe that too, you are threatening me?” she said.
“Somebody that was acting like this from the US was also out. It saddens me because we don’t have another country.”
This is not the first time the members of the national assembly would be accused of demanding bribe to carry out their statutory duties.
In 2018, Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the federal lawmakers were “notorious for demanding bribes.”
While delivering a lecture in Abuja, Jega had said: “Members of the national assembly engage in bribe taking when they pursue committee works and oversight and I wonder what is happening with intelligence and investigative responsibilities of security agencies in policing our national assembly. Some chairmen of the committees in the national assembly have become notorious on this issue of demanding bribes with impunity.”
In 2018, heads of government agencies, ministries and agencies (MDAs) had also alleged the lawmakers asked them for bribe to pass their budget.