Prof. Moji Adeyeye
•Urges NASS to pass counterfeit medical product bill to strengthen war against offenders
Director General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye has disclosed that her agency destroyed unwholesome medicines, expired processed food items and cosmetics worth over N50 billion in the last five months.
She also appealed to the National Assembly to quickly pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill as a way of strengthening war against offenders.
In a statement by NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, in Lagos on Sunday, Adeyeye said N1,429,580,683.00 worth of unwholesome drug and food products were destroyed in Awka, capital of Anambra State in March for South-South and Southeast operations.
In the same month, she recalled that such dangerous products worth N613,300,290.00 were destroyed in Kano while the Agency moved to Gombe in May to destroy seized counterfeited and expired medicines, and food items worth N515,732.587 mopped up in the Northeast by the Investigation and Enforcement officials of the Agency led by Barrister Kingsley Ejiofor.
Also, Adeyeye destroyed fake and expired medicines, and food products worth N2,482,600,290 seized in the Southwest, Shagamu, Ogun State last week.
She appealed to the judiciary to always apply tougher penalty against those found guilty of drug counterfeiting, expired processed food and repugnant cosmetics to serve as deterrent to others.
She lamented that perpetuators of the illicit trade more often than not do capitalize on the weak law in the land to wreak havoc on the nation’s health system.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing destruction of falsified and expired medicines, cosmetics, and unwholesome food products across the country, the NAFDAC DG appealed to the judiciary to take sterner view of counterfeiting and apply the maximum penalty of the weak laws to deter counterfeiters and fraudsters from the dangers they pose to the society and all consumers as a result of their dangerous products.
Adeyeye avers that the dangerous business would be made unattractive if it carries maximum penalty for the offenders.
In the same vein, Prof Adeyeye also pleaded with members of the National Assembly to pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill that will reinforce the NAFDAC’s fight against counterfeiting in Nigeria.
She warned that henceforth, there would be no hiding place for the merchants of death who derive joy in the unpatriotic act of circulating expired, falsified drugs and food products, putting the health of millions of Nigerians at risk.
In its renewed efforts to safeguard the health of Nigerians, Adeyeye said the Agency’s resolved to go after those who engage in circulation of counterfeited and expired medicines, cosmetics, and spurious food products in the country until they are apprehended and made to face the wrath of the law.
Adeyeye further said the agency would not rest on its oars until those she describes as merchants of death desist from the nefarious activities following the destruction of seized unwholesome products worth over N5b in five months.
“The operatives of the Agency had combed the nooks and crannies of the five geo-political zones of the federation, namely, Northwest, North East, South East, South-South and South West to mop up expired drugs and unwholesome food products with a view to safeguarding the health of the Nigerian people.”
Adeyeye noted that the destruction was part of the efforts to rid the Nigerian market of unwholesome products and engender public confidence.
“The destroyed products include drugs such as antibiotics, antihypertensive, antimalarial, herbal remedies, psychoactive, controlled substance.”