As part of efforts aimed at eradicating fake drugs and other spurious regulated products from circulation in the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has destroyed counterfeit drugs and vaccines, cosmetics, and expired food items worth over N2 billion.
According to a statement signed, yesterday, by Resident Media Consultant, NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, on behalf of the Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the destruction took place in Kano State and Awka, Anambra State.
It noted that the operatives of the agency had combed 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 Nigerian people.
According to the statement, while counterfeit drugs and spurious food products worth over N1.4billion seized from both the South East and South-South zones were destroyed in Awka, Anambra state on Thursday, similar dangerous drugs, and unwholesome food items worth N613m were destroyed at the Kalebawa dumpsite along Kazaure-Daura road, Dambatta, Kano.
Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, however, warned that henceforth, there is no 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.
Adeyeye, who supervised the exercise, said the destruction was part of the efforts to rid Nigerian market of unwholesome products and engender public confidence.
Represented by Director of Investigation and Enforcement in the Agency, Kingsley Ejiofor, the Prof. Adeyeye said that its operatives seized the fake products during various operations in the zones, and listed the products to include substandard, fake, falsely labelled medicines, unwholesome processed food products and cosmetics seized from manufacturers, distributors, and importers.
She disclosed that complaint companies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), trade unions, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and National Association of Proprietary and Patent Medicines Dealers (NAPPMED) also handed over the expired drugs voluntarily.
She said others were those confiscated by Customs Service but violated, unregistered drugs, improperly stored vaccines, and tramadol, adding that the list also included Rohypinol intercepted on Benin-Asaba Expressway and other fake medicinal products intercepted at different times.
“The estimated value of the products destroyed in Kano is N613,300, 290.00 while fake products worth N1, 429,580,683.00 were destroyed in Awka, Anambra State, totalling N2,042,880,973.00,” Adeyeye said.
Adeyeye further disclosed that a warehouse of banned, controlled, fake and counterfeit products, worth millions of naira, had been discovered in Oyi Local Government of Anambra. The NAFDAC boss said that the items were awaiting destruction, pending the setting aside of a court order.
She said apart from seizures and destructions, the agency had been able to secure conviction of culprits, ranging from one year to five years and options of fine.
Adeyeye pointed out that the Agency is adopting proactive approach by engaging political, traditional, and religious leaders in sensitizing their wards on the dangers of drug abuse.