The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, on Wednesday supervised the destruction of fake and unwholesome drugs valued at about N9.31billion.
The consignment was the largest seizure in 30 years by the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
According to a statement by the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Adewole led a team of stakeholders to destroy the drugs.
He described the drugs as routine drugs in constant demand by Nigerians, stating that this implies a gap in supply to the people in need of drugs.
The Minister therefore called on health workers to work closely with pharmaceutical groups to fill the gap by making sure there were quality drugs manufactured locally.
“If quality drugs are produced and at affordable price, there will be no market for imported substandard drugs’, he said.
While lamenting the presence of fake drugs in the country, Mr. Adewole described the activities of fake drug importers and manufacturers as corrupt.
He noted that the present administration would not relent in its fight against corruption until the battle was won and the culprits prosecuted.
In his remarks, the Chairman House Committee on Healthcare Services, Chike Okafor, described the size of the seizure as historic.
He said the House endorsed the destruction and would continue to support NAFDAC and the other agencies to rid Nigeria of fake medical products.
Mr. Okafor pledged the continued support of the federal lawmakers to all activities that would keep the lives of Nigerians safe and secured.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali, confirmed that the seizure was the largest by his agency in 30years.
Mr. Ali, who was represented by his assistant, Sanusi Umar, attributed the success to the collaborative efforts of all relevant agencies, stating that more could be achieved if the agencies continued to work together.
In her welcome address, the Ag. Director General of NAFDAC, Yetunde Oni, called on Nigerians to join the fight against fake drugs by providing Information to NAFDAC and such would be treated with maximum confidentiality.
She encourages all importers and manufacturers of medical products to ensure their products meet the required standard and safe for human consumption.
The Commissioner for Health, Rivers State, Theophilus Adagma, pledged the support of the state government to the fight against fake and sub-standard drugs.