From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said on Sunday, that it has uncovered a warehouse of banned, controlled, fake and counterfeit products, worth millions of naira, in Oyi Local Government of Anambra state.
NAFDAC, in a statement released in Abuja, said its operatives discovered the warehouse in cause of routine operation in the nooks and crannies of the three geo-political zones of the federation, namely, North West, South East and South-South, to mop up expired drugs and unwholesome food products with a view to safeguarding the health of the Nigerians.
The Agency said the confiscated items are awaiting destruction, pending the setting aside of a Court Order.
Meanwhile, the Agency has destroyed counterfeit drugs, vaccines, cosmetics and other expired items worth N2 billion, siezed in the cause of the routine zonal operations.
While counterfeit items worth over N1.4billion seized from both the South East and South-South zones were destroyed in Awka, Anambra state, similar unwholesome items worth N613 million, were destroyed at the Kalebawa dumpsite along Kazaure-Daura road, Dambatta, Kano.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, described the action as a lesson to other people who might nurse the idea of dealing on counterfeit drugs or other unwholesome food items.
She, however, warned that, henceforth, there won’t be hiding place for the merchants of death who derive joy in the unpatriotic act of circulating expired and falsified drugs and food products that are inimical to public health across the country.
She was optimistic that the destruction of the dangerous products would help eliminate the risk of their re-introduction into the market, noting that drug counterfeit is an act of economic sabotage and pose serious threat to public health.
“It’s a proof of NAFDAC’s resolve to safeguard the health of the people and ensure that only genuine medicines that are wholesome are sold in Nigeria’’, she reiterates.
She confirmed that apart from seizures and destructions, the Agency has been able to secure conviction of culprits, ranging from one year to five years and options of fine.
The NAFDAC boss vowed that the Agency will ensure that manufacture, distribution, sale and use of medicines and foods are effectively controlled to ensure that prescribed standards of identity, safety, quality, and efficacy are met.
Kano State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim-Getso, lauded NAFDAC for campaign to check circulation of fake and substandard products in the state, pledging continued government support to the Agency to enable it to achieve its mandate.
In the same vein, the Chairman, Medical Section of Ochanja Central Market, Onitsha, Mr. Boniface Muonurikpe, described the public destruction of the dangerous products in Awka as a welcome development.
Muonurikpe assured NAFDAC that the market association is willing to work with them to ensure that only genuine products ars sold to the end-users, stressing that the activities of fakers had robbed Nigerian markets of public confidence.