Over N515million worth of substandard, fake and falsely labelled medicines, expired, unwholesome and counterfeit regulated food products were at weekend destroyed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Gombe State.
At the North East site for the destruction of the products in Gombe, the agency’s director-general, Prof . Mojisola Adeyeye, said it was part of NAFDAC’s functions.
According to her, Act Cap No. 1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2014 empowers the agency to regulate and control medicines and food products.
Represented by the deputy director of NAFDAC, Josephine Daliyim, she said the destroyed medicines included antibiotics, antihypertensive, antimalarial, herbal remedies, psychoactive anti-diabetic.
She said other items destroyed were spaghetti, vegetable oil, non-alcoholic beverages, sachet water, creams and chemicals such as fake insecticides and fertiliser.
Adeyeye said, “The surveillance and enforcement systems in NAFDAC are continually being improved and strengthened. NAFDAC was ISO 9001: 2015 certified in 2019 and all our processes have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP-driven). We are customer focused, agency-minded and country dedicated in achieving the mandate of the agency.
“The organisation was established to regulate the importation, exportation, advertiseme, distribution, sale and the use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, detergent and chemicals.
“Today, we are witnessing the destruction of various categories of regulated products with estimated street value of fifteen million , seven N515,732,587,” he said.
While lamenting the level of adulteration in the North East region, the director-general said the destruction of the products would eliminate the risk of their re-introduction into the Nigerian market.
She said, “While the country and indeed the world is battling with COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for me to draw the attention of the public to the presence of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines in the continent.
“The public must be on the look out for these spurious and counterfeit vaccines and other regulated products,”
She said surveillance of these products and we shall continue to enforce the regulations governing these products in Nigeria.”
On his part, zonal coordinator of NAFDAC, Bukar Usman, who was represented by Gombe State coordinator Gonzuk Bedima appreciated the efforts of other agencies that assisted in controlling fake products from entering into the market.
“SON, NSCDC, police, NDLEA and other agencies for assisting us. I want to appreciate all of them because of the enlightenment campaign of the agency some of them have submitted their expired, counterfeit drugs to NAFDAC.”
I want to further employ us all to join hands together towards eliminating the sales and distribution of counterfeit drugs and food,” Usman said.