National Agency For Food, And Drugs Administration And Control (NAFDAC) on Friday in Awka burnt to Ashes fake, counterfeit, substandard, expired and unwholesome regulated products worth N4,282,302,738.00.
The Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye who was represented by the director of Investigation and Enforcement Mr.Francis Nzeribe Ononiwu in her address said public destruction of the drugs would eliminate the risk of their reintroduction into the Nigerian market and it is a proof of NAFDAC’s resolve to safeguard the health of the the nation by ensuring that only genuine medicines and wholesome foods of the right qualities are imported , exported, manufactured, distributed and sold in Nigeria.
Adeyeye said two people have been successfully prosecuted and jailed for five years each in Anambra State in 2021 and 2022 for faking drugs and food products.
She praised the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of Asaba, Delta State, for making several seizures of controlled and banned narcotics, counterfeit and fake products being distributed by some unscrupulous elements and causing harm to public health.
She also disclosed that a remarkable seizure was made in 2021 by the Nigerian Customs of a”40×40 container of fake, banned and counterfeit products worth millions of Naira, some of which included Tramadol 225 tablets, CSP with Codeine syrups and so on.
Prof. Adeyeye reiterated that drug counterfeiting is an act of economic sabotage and also represents serious threat to public health.
According to her, “the present management of NAFDAC has taken proactive approach towards tackling this challenge by the engagement of political, traditional and religious leaders in sensitising their members, subjects and congregation respectively to desist from this practice”.
She listed range of drugs seized and burnt to include: Antibiotics, banned drugs,vaccines improperly stored outside the cold chain Alcoholic and non alcoholic Beverages. Others are: Cosmetics, chemicals and unwholesome food.
She expressed gratitude to law enforcement agencies, market leaders , Anambra State and various groups and unions for their collaborations.
She, however, urged consumers to be watchful of drugs, Foods and regulated products they purchase and not to hesitate to report any suspicious activities relating to the products in their neighbourhood to the nearest NAFDAC office.
Earlier before presenting the address, Mr. Ononiwu noted that destruction of the drugs was coming after two years as the action is being organized by the South-South and South-East zone and the purpose is to ensure the good health of the people.
The event was attended by all the state coordinators of NAFDAC in the two zones namely: Anambra, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Cross River, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, including the deputy director of South-East zone Mr. Collins Ogedemgbe.
Others were representatives of NDLEA, and Civil Defence and leaders of drug markets in Anambra State#
Photos: Mr. Ononiwu delivering Director’s address