The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) announced over the weekend that it had discovered two warehouses in Lagos’ Trade Fair Complex loaded with N3 billion worth of counterfeit drugs and children’s cereals collected from disposal sites.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, announced at a press conference held at the NAFDAC Administrative Office in Isolo on Friday, cautioning the public against buying unpackaged cereals.
The director-general mentioned unseemly items such as children’s cereals and dairy foods among the seized products.
10 cartons of Tramadol 225mg, 1,200 cartons of banned Analgin Injection (2.5g/5ml), 2,200 cartons of banned Codeine in Syrup, and alleged fake 500 cartons of Azmal; Artemether Injection were among the counterfeit products she highlighted.
Among the items discovered and evacuated were 534 cartons With 300 packs of Binomial; Artesunate Injection; 188 cartons of Hydra and Black Cobra (sildenafil citrate 200mg); and 198 cartons of Super Artesunate Injection.
The importer is still at large, according to Adeyeye, even though over 20 truckloads of harmful products were expelled from the two locations.
“Officers from NAFDAC’s inspection and enforcement division, as well as the Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unhealthful Processed Foods, searched the two warehouses where several cartons of banned drugs were uncovered and evacuated,” she explained.
“It is estimated that the banned and fabricated drugs in the warehouses held by one Chuka (Akuamia), who is still at large, are valued at approximately N3 billion.” The items were kept at temperatures over 40°C, which would normally cause the active ingredients and excipients to deform.”
The director-general also expressed regret at the agency’s discovery that some counterfeit products are smuggled into the country through a “Groupage” scheme.
“This is a procedure in which more than two people load containers from the country of origin with various things.” To combat the occurrence of food fraud, Adeyeye hinted that the agency is conducting raid operations, which have already yielded amazing results.
“Because the sources of these varied deceptively packaged cereals and dairy products cannot be verified, NAFDAC cannot ensure that the products are safe to consume.”
“A suspect revealed during one of our operations that the CocoPops, CornFlakes, and Oats shown for sale in transparent nylons were sourced from LAWMA waste disposal trucks before being repackaged into transparent nylons.”
As a result, she warned people “not to patronise dealers of cereal or other products that have been taken from their primary packaging.” Because infants and children are the targets and ultimate victims of such cruel and immoral practice, NAFDAC is particularly distressing.”
While revealing that the agency has initiated searches on marketplaces and supermarkets in the hopes of discovering unregistered NAFDAC products, the DG advised the public to report fake products to the agency’s office or over the phone.
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