By Patrick Aigbokhan
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it is seriously pushing for a life sentence for drug counterfeiters at the National Assembly.
Yetunde Oni, Acting Director-General of the agency, stated this in Lafia, during the agency’s joint destruction exercise of drugs/unwholesome products destruction by Benue/Nasarawa states.
She lamented that despite laudable efforts made by the agency such as destroying fake products worth N30 Billion in the last three years, counterfeiters continue to adopt different strategies to evade arrest and enjoy proceeds of their corrupt practices.
Oni, who was represented at the occasion by Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, Director of Special Duties of NAFDAC, said the periodic destruction exercise was one of the NAFDAC strategies to prevent circulation of fake, counterfeit medicines and unwholesome products in the country.
She said that some of the products earmarked for destruction were voluntarily submitted to NAFDAC by various governmental and non-governmental organizations whilst others were mopped up from open market via enforcement activities and Surveillance systems of NAFDAC.
The Acting DG said, “For us in NAFDAC, zero tolerance is what we are yearning for, a lot of damage is been done by counterfeit drugs. A drug counterfeiter is worst than an armed robber. That is why we are pushing for a life sentence for drug counterfeiters at the National Assembly
“We are optimistic that in the near future, we would have nothing or little to destroy as we work towards ensuring availability of good quality, efficacious, safe and affordable medicines and wholesome regulated products to the Nigerian populace.”
Michael Ali Attah, Nasarawa State Coordinator of NAFDAC, had earlier said at the destruction site that the product being destroyed jointly (Benue/Nasarwa) is worth N105 million ,adding that 80 per cent of the unwholesome products are from Benue state.
“This is a proof and a clear testimony that NAFDAC is working, and leaving no stone unturned until the manufacturers/dealers of these spurious, substandard, fake and counterfeit NAFDAC regulated products, stop toiling with lives of Nigerians, in the name of making money give up their evil and wicked ways and submit to the authority of NAFDAC and to the laws of this great nation,” Attah said.
According to him, the exercise is a message and a signal to all and sundry who are manufacturing/importing any NAFDAC regulated products: food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals etc that are substandard, fake or counterfeit, to desist from such activities or face the music, adding that the agency is fully awake, active and combing all nook and crannies of the state and the nation at large, to safeguard the health of Nigerians.