The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nasarawa and Benue States have jointly destroyed expired drugs, food, cosmetics, and expired drinks worth N105 million.

Mrs Yetunde Oni, Acting Director General (DG) of NAFDAC made the disclosure on Friday, May 5, 2017, at the venue of the Joint Destruction Exercise in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

The Acting DG represented by Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, Director of Special Duties, NAFDAC said the periodic destruction exercise was one of NAFDAC’s 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 organisations whilst others were mopped up from open market via enforcement activities and surveillance systems of NAFDAC.

“For us in NAFDAC, zero tolerance is what we are aiming for. A lot of damage is being done by counterfeit drugs. A drug counterfeiter is worse than an armed robber. That is why we are pushing for a life sentence for drug counterfeiters at the National Assembly,” She said.

“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,” She said.

She however, 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.

In his welcome address, Mr Micheal Attah, Nasarawa State Coordinator of NAFDAC said the joint destruction exercise is proof and a clear testimony that NAFDAC is working and leaving no stone unturned in ridding the Nigerian society of spurious, fake and counterfeit products.

“This exercise today is a message and a signal to all and sundry who are manufacturing and importing any NAFDAC regulated products that are substandard, fake or counterfeit to desist from such activities or face the music,” He said.

He revealed that the total amount of products destroyed is worth N105,350,900 with 80 percent of the products from Benue State due to the fact that the Agency in Nasarawa state had destroyed products worth N24 million six months earlier.

He added that to efficiently comb all the nooks and cranny of Nasarawa State of illegal and unwholesome NAFDAC products, the agency has opened an outpost office in Karu Local Government Area of the State to regulate growing commercial activities in the area.

Attah then appealed to all and sundry to report any suspected activities of illegal manufacturers and dealers of unregistered products to any NAFDAC office for prompt action to be taken.

“I wish to advise and appeal to the conscience of all Nigerians who are NAFDAC stakeholders or importers of NAFDAC regulated products to please ensure that they manufacture or import genuine, wholesome and registered products so Nigerians will enjoy good health,” He added.

In a vote of thanks, Mr Francis Owu, Benue state Coordinator of NAFDAC expressed appreciation to all stakeholders who made it possible for the counterfeits drugs and unwholesome products to be mopped destroyed.

He however appealed for closer and stronger collaboration with the general public in the aspect of information dissemination, adding that “NAFDAC agents are not spirits. It is the information you give us that leads to this kind of exercise.”