The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday destroyed expired, substandard and falsified medical products, and others worth N2.95 billion.
The products were destroyed at the Oke-Diya, dumpsite, Shagamu Area of Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.
The exercise was supervised by NAFDAC’s Director=General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye.
According to Adeyeye, items being destroyed were made up of substandard and falsified medical products, unwholesome processed food products; unsafe cosmetics, counterfeits and other expired NAFDAC regulated products seized by the agency from manufacturers, importers and distributors.
Others are expired products voluntarily handed over to the agency by compliant companies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Trade Unions.
“The estimated street value of the products scheduled for destruction today is N2, 675,896,538.20. While the street value of the banned Tramadol is N283,500,000,” she disclosed.
She said the current Management had been given the mandate by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the health of Nigerians was safeguarded and that in line with this mandate, the agency stepped up its prevention, detection and response activities towards the elimination of substandard and falsified products, unwholesome foods and counterfeiting of all NAFDAC regulated products in the preceding year by training and retraining of relevant NAFDAC staff.
“Furthermore, the Agency has taken the following strides in the fight against counterfeiting in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2019: investigation and enforcement officers intercepted a trailer transporting assorted Pharmaceutical products to an unknown destination. The importer, Mr. Luke Mbah, has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos for smuggling banned and fake 488 cartons of Barcadin with Codeine (cough syrup), fake 207 cartons of Afrodiac Diclofenac Potassium tablets, fake 44 cartons of feed-fine Cyproheptadine tablets (50mg each) and fake 190 cartons of De Really Extra (Diclofenac Sodium tablet) worth ₦311,000,700.00.
“One Mr. Madubuike Chukwunonye who allegedly sold Cough Syrup with Codeine to a BBC undercover agent in April, 2018 was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos. The defendant was on the run after a documentary on the alleged transaction was aired by BBC and the Nigeria Police Squad of the Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and unwholesome processed Foods invited him for interview. He was arrested by the Nigeria Police at Idiroko border while trying to flee to Benin Republic. He was subsequently handed over to the Agency for prosecution,” she explained.
However, Adeyeye pleaded with the National Assembly to pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill that would 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. We want at this juncture to reiterate that 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, including banned Tramadol of high strengths that were destined for the Nigerian market,” she said.