Adeyeye said that no fewer than 66 arrests had been made from about 50 raids carried out by the agency against hawkers of drugs across the nation in 2023 alone.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Thursday, destroyed fake and expired goods worth over N16 billion in Sagamu, Ogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise took place at Oke-Diya dumpsite.
In a speech, the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said that the exercise was part of the agency’s renewed efforts to rid the country of unwholesome regulated products in order to safeguard the health of the populace.
Adeyeye, represented by the agency’s Director of Investigation and Enforcement, Francis Ononiwu, said that the exercise had become necessary to prevent the re-introduction of the products into the market.
The NAFDAC boss said that the affected products included substandard and falsified medical products, unwholesome processed food additives, unsafe cosmetics and counterfeits as well as other NAFDAC-regulated products.
She further said that some of the products were seized by the agency from manufacturers, importers and distributors.
“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,” she said.
Adeyeye said that no fewer than 66 arrests had been made from about 50 raids carried out by the agency against hawkers of drugs across the nation since the beginning of the year.
She also said that products, like codeine, cough syrups, tramadol capsules, aphrodisiacs, analgesics, antibiotics and antimalarial drugs, worth N8 million, peddled by hawkers, had also been confiscated by the agency during the same period.
She recalled a recent arrest of one Sunday Chibuike, who was charged to court by the agency for producing unregistered alcoholic beverages.
She said that Chibuike was concocting alcoholic drinks laced with marijuana and other harmful ingredients, which were packaged and sold as Japata bitters in the Iyana-Ipaja area of Lagos State.
“This act is extremely callous and worrisome because of the health implications which include pseudo hallucination, impairment of reflexes, acute psychosis, altered brain development and impaired motor coordination, among others.”
She, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to shun drug peddlers on the streets and patronise registered medicine stores.
“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.
The NAFDAC boss, who commended the judiciary for its continued support, advocated stiffer sanctions to check the menace because of the dangers it continued to pose to society.
She urged the National Assembly to speedily pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill to strengthen the agency’s fight against counterfeiting in the country.
She also appreciated the support and collaboration from the Nigeria Customs Service, Police, NDLEA, DSS and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
She assured Nigerians that NAFDAC would not relent in its effort to rid the country of substandard and falsified medicines and other unwholesome regulated products.