A team of police officers attached to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, NAFDAC, on Wednesday caught three men stealing items earmarked for destruction at the Okediya Dumpsite, Sagamu, Ogun State.
The three men, Kabiru Amar, Yusuf Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrahim, were nabbed carting away cartons of unwholesome spaghetti product during the destruction of fake and substandard products.
Kingsley Ejiofor, Director, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, representing NAFDAC’s Acting Director-General, Yetunde Oni, told journalists at the site that the thieves were “career criminals” and would be appropriately dealt with.
“In spite of the fact that we were at the dumpsite destroying counterfeit and expired products, some miscreants still had the audacity to steal from the destruction exercise site.
“This is to show the extent to which people are willing to go, to make money from the sales of expired products.
“They have been caught and will not be spared,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that millions of naira worth of products were destroyed, indicating NAFDAC’s position of zero tolerance for fake drugs and other products.
Some of the expired products destroyed were said to have been voluntarily handed over by compliant companies in the country.
Other products destroyed included fake and counterfeit drugs, prohibited substandard and expired food products, cosmetics and other regulated products.
These were seized by the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDA from manufacturers, importers and distributors in Lagos State and environs.
Mr. Ejiofor said that the destruction exercise was embarked upon by the agency as one of NAFDAC’s mandates to safeguard the health of the nation.
“The agency has continued to aggressively pursue the goals of ensuring that only genuine medicines and wholesome foods of the right quality are imported, exported, manufactured and distributed.
“We shall continue to enforce the regulations governing regulated products in Nigeria.
“Surveillance and enforcement operations at our ports, borders and identified routes used by smugglers, have been intensified and this has led to increased seizures of fake regulated products smuggled through our land borders,’’ he said.
The director said that the success recorded was partly due to NAFDAC’s collaborative efforts with sister agencies such as Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
Mr. Ejiofor also thanked the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria and the Lagos State Medicine Dealers Association for voluntarily and continuously mopping up and handing over expired products to the agency.
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