The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control says it has destroyed counterfeit products worth N5bn in the last five months.
NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, made the announcement while appealing to the judiciary to apply tougher sanction against those found guilty of drug counterfeiting, expired processed food and repugnant cosmetics to serve as deterrent to others.
Adeyeye noted that the destruction was part of the efforts to rid the Nigerian market of unwholesome products and engender public confidence.
In a statement issued by the agency's Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola on Sunday, Adeyeye disclosed that the products were destroyed in Anambra, Kano, Ogun and Gombe States.
The destroyed products include drugs such as antibiotics, antihypertensive, antimalarial, herbal remedies, psychoactive, controlled substance.
Others were food products such as spaghetti, vegetable oil, non-alcoholic beverages, sachet water, chocolates, noodles as well as cosmetics such as creams, pomade, and insecticides.
"Perpetuators of the illicit trade more often than not capitalize on the weak law in the land to wreak havoc on the nation’s health system.
"The agency would not rest on its oars until those she describes as merchants of death desist from the nefarious activities following the destruction of seized unwholesome products worth over N5b in five months," she said.
According to her, the agency destroyed unwholesome medicines, expired processed food items and cosmetics worth N1, 429,580,683.00 in Awka, the capital city of Anambra State in March for South-South and Southeast operations.
In the same month, she recalled that such dangerous products worth N613,300,290.00 were destroyed in Kano while NAFDAC moved to Gombe in May to destroy seized counterfeited and expired medicines, and food items worth N515,732.587 which were mopped up in the Northeast by its Investigation and enforcement officials.
"Fake and expired medicines, and food products worth N2,482,600,290 seized in the Southwest were also destroyed in Shagamu, Ogun State last week.
"We want to assure Nigerians that the agency would stop at nothing to apprehend the people who engage in the illicit business of endangering the lives of undiscerning consumers who patronize them.
‘’The operatives of the agency had combed the nooks and crannies of the five geo-political zones of the federation, namely, Northwest, North East, South East, South-South and South West to mop up expired drugs and unwholesome food products with a view to safeguarding the health of the Nigerian people’’, she said.
According to her, the continued destruction of the spurious products would eliminate the risk of their reintroduction into the market, noting that drug counterfeit is an act of economic sabotage and poses serious threat to public health.