The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control on Thursday destroyed fake, expired, substandard and unwholesome products worth N464 million seized in the North East.
Speaking at the site of the destruction in Gombe, Prof. Christiana Adeyeye, the Director-General, NAFDAC, said the products were seized from manufacturers, importers and distributors.
Adeyeye, who was represented by Alhaji Sabo Adamu, North East zonal coordinator of the agency said, “The estimated street value of the products is N464.7 million.
She said: “The products include drugs such as antibiotics, anti-hypertensive and herbal remedies.
“Food such as spaghetti, vegetable oil, nonalcoholic beverages; cosmetics such as creams, pomade and chemicals such as fake insecticide.”
She appealed to state governments to establish a Drug Abuse Control Committee involving NAFDAC and relevant agencies in the states to tackle the proliferation of drug abuse among youths in the state.
Adeyeye called for the provision of stiffer penalties for peddlers of banned drugs.
The D-G said NAFDAC was deeply concerned at the level of serious danger to the economic and political well-being of Nigerians, especially the agile young population deeply involved in crimes under the influence of drugs.
According to her, NAFDAC has placed embargo on the issuance and renewal of permit for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough syrup preparation and deployed strategies to address its menace.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, represented by Sammy Barka, Commissioner for Animal Husbandry and Nomadic Affairs, commended NAFDAC for safeguarding the health of Nigerians and assured of the government continued support.
Dankeambo said: “The fight against this menace is therefore a collective responsibility as we cannot afford to live with the consequences.
“Counterfeiting of drug is the greatest evil of our time, the highest weapon of terrorism against public health, economic sabotage, an ill wind that blows no one any good.
“We must all rise to fight successful war against this menace, so as to have a peaceful society to live in.”
The governor urged NAFDAC to take more proactive steps toward enforcement of regulations, enhancing standards guiding production, sale and distribution of regulated products to safeguard public health.
In his remarks, the Emir of Gombe, Abubakar Shehu-Abubakar, represented by Alhaji Inuwa Lamido, lauded the effort of NAFDAC for safeguarding public health in the country.
He urged the agency to ensure regular monitoring of medicine vendors to ensure that only qualified and authorized persons are into the business.
The Emir called on the people to also report any illegal act to NAFDAC to enable the agency address the problem promptly.