The National Agency for the Administration and Control of Food and Medicines (NAFDAC) destroyed unhealthy food and products worth N515.73 million in the northeast.
The information is contained in a statement signed by NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, Mr. Olusayo Akintola, in Abuja on Sunday.
Akintola, who stated that the destruction was carried out in Gombe, added that the agency’s director general, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, was represented at the exercise by Ms. Dayilim Josephine, NAFDAC coordinator in Bauchi state.
He quoted the NAFDAC chief as saying, “The agency will not rest on its oars until the Nigerian markets are rid of counterfeit and substandard foods, medicines, counterfeit drugs and dangerous cosmetics.”
Adeyeye said the exercise began with the receipt of the items for destruction from the northeastern zone states of Gombe, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Taraba. She praised the cooperation of sister agencies such as the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), NDLEA and DSS, among other things, to realize the NAFDAC mandate.
She said counterfeit products are harmful to people’s health and well-being. She added that the destruction of the products was in line with the agency’s strategies aimed at eliminating the reintroduction of the counterfeit drugs.
âThe products destroyed consisted of substandard and counterfeit pharmaceuticals, unhealthy processed foods, unsafe cosmetics and other counterfeit regulated products that were confiscated from importers and manufacturers.
âExpired NAFDAC-regulated products that were voluntarily handed over to the agency by complaint firms including GSK Pharma, Ogba, Lagos and non-governmental organizations within the zone were also destroyed.
âThe estimated street value of the destroyed products was N515,732,587. The destroyed products contained various amounts of drugs such as antibiotics, herbal remedies, psychoactive agents, and anti-diabetic drugs.
“Foods like pasta, palm oil, vegetable oil, ogogoro (local gin), soft drinks and bag water were part of the destroyed products,” she said.
Adeyey also said other destroyed products were personal protective equipment (PPE) and imported counterfeit packaging materials to counterfeit various NAFDAC regulated products.
The general manager said she was glad the products had been destroyed as they had found their way back to the market with the ensuing consequences.
She said 240.15 tons of the destroyed goods had come in from northeast states and another 40 tons from GSK Pharma, adding that they were destroyed with fuel on May 22nd.
She announced that the public should know that counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines are now floating around in Africa, noting that NAFDAC would ensure continuous monitoring of the products.
She reaffirmed the agency’s determination to continue working with other stakeholders to ensure that prescribed standards for identity, safety, quality and efficacy of regulated products are met.
In goodwill messages from sister agencies present at the exercise and delivered by Gombe State NDOMA Commander Ms. Sylvia Egwunwoke, they praised NAFDAC for their efforts to clean up the country.