- by E. Nriezedi
- 7:07 PM September 10, 2021
The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC, weekend called for stiffer punishment for food, cosmetics and drug counterfeiters as a deterrent to intending counterfeiters.
The agency also wants the National Assembly to pass the Counterfeit Medical Product Bill to strengthen the war against offenders in the country.
In a press statement made available to Vanguard, the Director-General of the Agency, Prof Christianah Adeyeye lamented that perpetrators of the illicit trade more often than not do capitalise on the weak law in the land to wreak havoc on the nation’s health system.
Speaking on the ongoing destruction of falsified and expired medicines, cosmetics, and unwholesome food products across the country by the Agency, Adeyeye, appealed to the judiciary to take a 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.
She asserted that the dangerous business would be made unattractive if it carries the maximum penalty for the offenders.
She further urged members of the National Assembly to pass the Counterfeit Medical Products Bill aimed at reinforcing the NAFDAC’s fight against counterfeiting in Nigeria.
She warned that henceforth, there would be no hiding place for the merchants of death who she said; derive joy in the unpatriotic act of circulating expired, falsified drugs and food products, putting the health of millions of Nigerians at risk.
She said: “NAFDAC has resolved to go after those who engage in the 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.
“The agency will not rest on its oars until those merchants of death desist from the nefarious activities following the destruction of seized unwholesome products worth over N5b in five months.
“The Agency destroyed unwholesome medicines, expired processed food items and cosmetics worth N1, 429,580,683.00 in Awka, the capital city of Anambra State in March for South-South and Southeast operations.
“In the same month, she recalls 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, fake and expired medicines, and food products worth N2, 482,600,290 seized in the Southwest were destroyed in Shagamu, Ogun State last week.”
She assured Nigerians that the Agency would stop at nothing to apprehend the people who engage in the illicit business of endangering the lives of undiscerning consumers who patronize them.
She advised members of the public against patronizing unlabeled products.