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…Nigeria, Benin track, destroys N95bn worth of unregistered drugs

The governments of Nigeria and Benin Republic have tracked and destroyed N95 billion worth of unregistered pharmaceutical products through the efforts of the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and relevant port authorities in both countries.

Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who disclosed that the agency got a tip from the presidency on shipment of 31 containers of fake pharmaceutical products labelled building materials in August 2018, noted that the Agency had been patiently monitoring the products until they were intercepted for examination.

While briefing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the NAFDAC DG listed some of the drugs contained in the 5×40-feet containers to include; tramadol and reality extra diclofenac tablets. She said: “The first approach was to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service under the leadership of Comptroller General (Col.) Ahmed Ali (rtd.). Eventually, twentyone of the containers were discharged at the Apapa port in Lagos, Nigeria as manifested.

One container couldn’t be tracked because of a missing container number. “Out of the 21 containers, only two had building materials.

However, as the importers of the containers became aware that NAFDAC was tracking and monitoring the containers on arrival at the Apapa port and intercepting them, they decided to change their strategy by diverting the remaining away from the Nigerian port. Four containers never got to Nigeria but were discharged at transhipment in Malaysia.

 

“One container was transferred to the Cotonou Port in the Republic of Benin while the remaining four were initially diverted to the Tema Port in Ghana but later diverted them to Cotonou having met resistance from the Ghana Food and Drug Agency that NAFDAC already contacted for collaboration to stop the four containers.

“Director-General of NAFDAC Prof Mojisola Adeyeye then liaised with the Ambassador of Nigeria to the Republic of Benin at the time, His Excellency Kayode Oguntuase, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the port authority in the Republic of Benin affected the seizure of the five containers on the request of NAFDAC.

“The street value of the drugs was estimated at N95 billion.” “A team of NAFDAC officers including Investigation & Enforcement Directorate officers, led by Prof Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection Directorate travelled to Cotonou where the destruction exercise of the five containers took place on December 21 and 22, 2022. “This international landmark achievement that had never been recorded in the history of the two countries and NAFDAC did not come without the unflinching efforts of the staff of Ports Inspection Directorate in Apapa and Seme Border.”

 

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