The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Prof. Christianah M. Adeyeye, has explained how the agency’s return to the ports, has significantly improved activities involving the control of importation of drugs, foods, chemicals, detergents, cosmetics, and packaged water.
Prof. Adeyeye, also attributed the rapid progress made by the agency in intercepting scores of tramadol containers and other illicit pharmaceuticals, to the support from the office of National Security Adviser, engagement with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and support from the Comptroller General and officers of the NCS, as well as the agency’s paradigm shift to customer-focused and agency-minded .
“Acting on intelligence reports in September 2018 and in collaboration with the NCS, NAFDAC monitored and intercepted 30 containers (between September and November) of unregistered pharmaceutical products that were destined for Nigeria. Prior to this time, 53 containers (in Lagos Ports) and 9 (in Onne, Rivers State) of unregistered pharmaceuticals were intercepted with the support of the Nigeria Customs Service. Of these latter containers, some have been examined while some are still waiting for examination”, she stated.
The NAFDAC boss, through a statement from her office, expressed the profound gratitude of the Council and Management of NAFDAC to the Nigeria Customs Service under the leadership of the Comptroller General, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) for renewed and consistent support and collaboration the agency receives from their office.
The statement reads in part:
“The release of these containers into the country would have wrecked more havoc to our society and the youth in particular. Subsequently, the Nigeria Customs Service called for a joint inspection/examination of the intercepted and blocked containers.
“Upon examinations, the detained containers were found to contain tramadol of high strengths and other unregistered medicines. Keeping to its mandate, NAFDAC thereafter seized the containers at the ports for possible evacuation and destruction. It is worth mentioning that one of the containers destined for Nigeria was later diverted to a West African country. However, with the support of the Security Agencies, the container was intercepted and detained.
“We wish to use this medium to inform the general public that NAFDAC will continue to protect the public health and request that necessary support and information should be provided to the Agency so as to ensure that more of such spurious consignments that have devastating effect on the public are prevented from entering into our country.
“The current management has shown zero tolerance to importation of unregistered, substandard and spurious products and will continue to pursue means to rid the country of such, thus mitigating the deleterious effects on the population, especially the youth. The agency needs the continued support of the public to provide information that will lead to preventing unregistered and dangerous drugs, food and other products from getting to our society. NAFDAC is Customer focused and Agency minded”.