The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday destroyed unsafe and unwholesome products seized by the agency, worth over N2 billion, at Oke-Diya Dumpsite, Sagamu, Ogun State.
Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the Agency told newsmen during the destruction exercise that 189 trucks conveyed the unsafe and unwholesome drugs — the highest ever recorded by NAFDAC — to the destruction venue.
“This destruction exercise, which is in line with our strategy, is aimed at eradicating the re-introduction of expired, Substandard and Falsified (SFs) medical products, as well as unsafe and unwholesome NAFDAC regulated products into circulation in Nigeria.
“The products being destroyed today are products seized by the agency from manufacturers, importers and distributors.
“Also up for destruction are expired products voluntarily handed over to the agency by compliant companies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Trade Unions.
“The estimated street value of the products scheduled for destruction today is N2, 675,896,538.20,’’ she said.
The D-G said that NAFDAC had been given the mandate by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the health of Nigerians is safeguarded.
“In line with this mandate, the agency stepped up its prevention, detection and response activities towards the elimination of SFs, unwholesome foods and counterfeiting of all NAFDAC regulated products in the preceding year by training and retraining of relevant NAFDAC staff.’’
Adeyeye appealed to the judiciary to take a sterner view of counterfeiting and apply stiffer sanctions to deter counterfeiters, because of the danger they continue to pose to the society of their dangerous products.
She also pleaded with the National Assembly to pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill that will strengthen the Agency’s fight against counterfeiting in Nigeria.
“It is pertinent to mention that the fight is capital intensive and we need the support of the states, local government councils and all credible and responsible corporate bodies.
“The return of the Agency to the ports and borders, and our close collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service has immensely boosted our interception of several containers of unregistered pharmaceutical products destined for the Nigerian market.
“We also commend the Nigeria Police for their immense support and collaboration with the Agency.
“We will continue to solicit the support of the public and that of all consumers in our quest to completely eliminate the incidence of counterfeit and spurious NAFDAC Regulated Products from our beloved country,’’ Adeyeye said.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Musa Mohammed promised to continue to sustain the synergy between NAFDAC and the Customs in the bid to save the country from the harmful effects of unsafe and unwholesome drugs.
“Two weeks ago, we supported NDLEA by seizing 1.8 tons of Cannabis Sativa (Indian Hemp).
“So, we will continue to work in synergy against the proliferation of fake drugs and unwanted substances into the society,’’ he said.