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NAFDAC urges NASS to speed up amendment of laws on counterfeit drugs, substances

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Moji Christianah Adeyeye

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) has urged the National Assembly to speed-up the amendment of laws to address the dangerous trend of counterfeiting and destruction of innocent lives.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye who made the call during the destruction of N3.5billion worth of seized drugs and other illegally imported products described as the largest seizures in recent times, said the law would enable the government prescribe stiffer penalty for peddlers of the banned drugs, adding that the regulatory agency will not relent in exposing cartel that specializes in the importation of unwholesome products.

The confiscated products destroyed at the dump site in Shagamu, Ogun state included, Tramadol, Codeine, illegally imported unwholesome sugar and counterfeit medicines.

Adeyeye was joined by the First Lady of Ogun State, Dr. Olufunsho Amosun and officials of the Ogun state government as well as other stakeholders including National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Police and Department of State Security (DSS) to destroy the items.

She said the use of this unwholesome imported tramadol has ruined the lives of many promising youths in the country.

“The total street value of which is about N3.5 billion and for tramadol alone is 1.7 billion. We wish to emphasise that only 50mg and 100mg of tramadol are approved for use in Nigeria. NAFDAC Inspection, Investigation and Enforcement activities have however, exposed a cartel that specializes in the importation of banned strengths of tramadol. The banned strengths have deleterious effects on vital organs of the body including the brain “, she said.

The DG who appreciated the Ogun State Government for their support, disclosed that 13 containers of banned and unregistered Tramadol and Diclofenac released to the agency by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) were destroyed.

She noted that just last week, the agency secured a conviction for one Mr. Ezeanwu Ifeanyi at the Federal High Court in Lagos with the convict sentenced to five years imprisonment for being in possession of Tramadol though with an option of N300,000 fine.
“We also have one counterfeit medicines seized and confiscated from Olisameka Osefo”, she said, adding the suspect was arraigned and subsequently convicted while the fake medicines were forfeited to the government for destruction.

Also destroyed were consignments of smuggled Brazilian sugar worth over N100m, which was rebranded by one businesswoman in a popular Lagos market.

First Lady of Ogun state, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaiye and his Environment Counterpart, Mr. Bolaji Oyeleye commended NAFDAC for its proactiveness and diligence which resorted in the massive seizures


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