The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has called on Nigerians to report on the production of fake drugs around them, in line with the whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government.
“We are calling on the public to blow the whistle whenever they discover any form of illegal manufacturing or production of drugs within their vicinity. We will ensure utmost confidentiality”, Christiana Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, said at an event in Lagos on Monday according to Daily Post.
“Blow the whistle; most of these illegal production of drugs are done in the night,” she noted.
The call came on the same day the Senate Roundtable on Drugs Abuse Epidemic in Nigeria, organised by the Nigerian Senate, was held in Kano.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had expressed worry over the recurrent trend of drug abuse in the country and vowed that government would tackle the menace from its roots by going after importers and distributors of drugs.
In his remark at the roundtable, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi had called for a law to compel Nigerian political and religious leaders, including lawmakers, governors and traditional rulers, to undertake drug test.
The emir accused the leaders of condoning the use of illegal substances by their body guards and thugs.
Speaking in the same vein far away in Lagos, NAFDAC director-general who was represented by Abayomi Bolaji, a deputy director at the agency, said lack of manpower by NAFDAC was to blame for increase in circulation of fake drugs and abuse.
“One of the greatest challenges of the agency is shortage of manpower because Nigeria is a large and complex country, and its little manpower cannot be everywhere.
“Counterfeit drugs pose a public health hazard, waste consumers’ income and reduce incentives to engage in research, development and innovation.
“The result of the use of fake drugs can be poisoning, treatment failure, untreated disease and death.
“The magnitude of drug counterfeiting was much and required strong and sustained actions from governments, the industry and consumers.
“The agency has engaged in capacity building of its staff, reviewed NAFDAC laws and applied cutting-edge technologies to tackle drug counterfeiting,” she said.