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Consumer Safety: NAFDAC destroys fake, expired products worth over N16bn

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC

*Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, says the health regulator is committed to eliminating expired medical products, illicit drugs, unwholesome foods, chemicals and other violative products from Nigerian markets

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the health regulatory agency intensifies efforts at safeguarding the health of Nigerians, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) again, destroyed fake and expired goods worth over N16 billion Thursday, October 26, 2023, in Sagamu, Ogun State.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, during the exercise which took place at Oke-Diya dumpsite, said that it was part of the regulator’s renewed offensive against unwholesome, regulated products to protect the health of the Nigerian populace, agency report said.

Represented at the location by Mr. Francis Ononiwu, Director of Investigation and Enforcement at NAFDAC, Prof. Adeyeye stated that the exercise had become necessary to prevent the re-introduction of such harmful products into the market.

She also disclosed the affected products included sub-standard and falsified medical products, unwholesome processed food additives, unsafe cosmetics and counterfeits as well as other NAFDAC regulated products.

Some of the products were seized by the agency from manufacturers, importers and distributors, the Director-General said.

The agency stated: “Also up for destruction today are damaged and expired products, voluntarily handed over to the agency by compliant companies, trade unions and non-governmental organisations.

“NAFDAC has been charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the health of the nation is safeguarded.

“As such, it is committed to eliminating expired medical products, illicit drugs, unwholesome foods, chemicals and other violative products,” Adeyeye noted.

Regulator makes 66 arrests in about 50 market raids -Adeyeye

Reeling of statistics about the regulatory agency’s recent operations across the West African country,

Adeyeye also revealed NAFDAC operatives made about 66 arrests from 50 raids against hawkers of drugs since the beginning of 2023.

She equally listed other products the agency seized from hawkers during the period to include codeine, cough syrups, tramadol capsules, aphrodisiacs, analgesics, antibiotics and antimalaria drugs, worth N8 million.

According to her, there was a recent arrest of certain Sunday Chibuike, who was charged to court by the agency for producing unregistered alcoholic beverages.

Adeyeye related that Chibuike was concocting alcoholic drinks laced with marijuana and other harmful ingredients, which were packaged and sold as Japata bitters in Iyana-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

Health implications of fake products on consumers

NAFDAC said: “This act is extremely callous and worrisome because of the health implications which includes pseudo hallucination, impairment of reflexes, acute psychosis, altered brain development and impaired motor coordination, among others.

The Director-General, therefore, appealed to Nigerian consumers to shun drug peddlers on the streets and patronise registered medicine stores.

She said: “I hereby appeal to community leaders, religious leaders, health practitioners, newsmen and others to continue to educate their wards and family members to desist from patronising quacks and peddlers of medicine on the streets.”

While commending the Judiciary for its continued support, she also advocated stiffer sanctions for infractions  in order to check the menace because of the dangers it has continued to pose to the society.

Adeyeye as well urged the National Assembly (NASS), in Abuja, FCT, to speedily pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill to strengthen the agency’s fight against counterfeiting in the country.

The agency appreciated the support and collaboration from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Police, NDLEA, DSS, as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

She assured Nigerian consumers that NAFDAC would not relent in its effort ridding the country of sub-standard and falsified medicines and other unwholesome regulated products.

ConsumerConnect reports NAFDAC earlier this month had destroyed fake and expired goods worth N535 million in Abuja.

Prof. Adeyeye during the exercise had stated that some of the goods were also voluntarily submitted to the agency.

Also represented by Ononiwu, Director of Investigation and Enforcement, the Director-General stressed that the seized goods were destroyed so as to prevent their re-introduction to the supply chain in Nigeria.

Among other products it destroyed were drugs made up of psychoactive and controlled substances, such as antibiotics, antihypertensive, antimalarials, herbal snuff and herbal remedies, and drugs confiscated from drug hawkers.

She also listed the food products such as Spaghetti, vegetable oil, and non-alcoholic beverages, including a 1 by 40ft container of unregistered Faurecia instant-powered milk that was handed over to the agency by the Nigeria Customs.

Others were cosmetics such as creams, lotion, and pomade, including skin-lightening creams seized from SPAS and beauty centres, chemicals, including fake insecticides and medical devices.

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