According to reports, the National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control has destroyed expired drugs, food, drinks and cosmetics worth N21 million in Nasarawa State.
Yetunde Oni, the Acting NAFDAC Director-General, disclosed this on Thursday during the destruction in Lafia.
Oni represented by Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, Director, Special Duties, said that the periodic destruction exercise was one of NAFDAC’s strategies to prevent the circulation of fake, counterfeit medicines and unwholesome products in the country.
She said that some of the products earmarked for destruction were voluntarily handed over to NAFDAC by various governmental and non-governmental organisations while others were mopped up from the open market via enforcement activities and NAFDAC Surveillance Systems.
According to her, fake and counterfeit medicines and other regulated products and drugs worth 30 million were destroyed in the state in 2014.
Oni said: “We are happy that this figure is down to N21 million in 2016. This is an indication of NAFDAC’s strengthened enforcement and surveillance systems.
“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 for the Nigerian populace.”
She, however, expressed regret that counterfeiters continued to adopt different strategies to evade arrest and enjoy proceeds of their corrupt practices in spite of NAFDAC’s laudable efforts.
She said: “In keeping with the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari, NAFDAC will continue to deploy all strategies to ensure that violators are not only arrested but also face the full wrath of the law.’’
She appeal to the state government to put in place NAFDAC Small Business Support Desks in local government areas across the state to help young entrepreneurs interested in food and drugs, among others, to get started.
In a remark, Josephine Dayilim, NAFDAC Zonal Coordinator, North Central Zone, said the destruction exercise started with Plateau State on November 22, adding that the exercise would be carried out in other states in the North Central zone.
“I commend our Acting D-G and management staff for approving the destruction exercise in various states of the country, stakeholders for their support and cooperation, especially those who voluntary forfeited expired, fake and substandard NAFDAC regulated products’’.
In his address of welcome, Michael Attah, the Nasarawa State Coordinator of NAFDAC, said though regulating drug use in the state had been a herculean task, the state office had been able to overcome many challenges to achieve some core objectives.
According to him,the products earmarked for destruction comprised, 90 per cent drugs, eight per cent food and drinks and two per cent expired cosmetics.
He called for partnership with NAFDAC in its fight to rid the state and the country at large of fake and adulterated drugs by patronising licensed pharmacies only and reporting hawkers of expired drugs to relevant authorities.