By Uchenna Eletuo
Lagos – National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it was set to destroy Tramadol consignment valued at N198 billion which it impounded recently.
Director-General of the agency, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, made this known on Sunday in a speech at an event to commemorate her one year in office in Abuja.
She said that the drug would be burnt and disclosed that NAFDAC had in the last one year, destroyed sub-standard and falsified medicines, unsafe drugs and unwholesome food and chemicals worth N3 billion.
Adeyeye said that with the support of the Presidency, National Security Adviser’s office and sustained awareness campaign on the implications of NAFDAC’s absence at the ports, the agency returned to the ports in May, 2018.
“The agency seized and destroyed sub-standard and falsified medicines and unsafe drugs worth N3 billion, including unwholesome foods and other unregulated products, in the last one year.
“We intercepted and destroyed 25 containers of Tramadol worth N1.7 billion
“There is a plan underway to destroy more than 30 containers of Tramadol and other unregistered products worth N198 billion.
“Three persons involved in the distribution of the banned tramadol have been arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos,” she said.
Adeyeye said that if the impounded drug had infiltrated Nigerian markets, it would have caused a national security issue as youths addicted to the substance would have taken to violent crimes, including armed robbery and insurgency.
She disclosed that when she assumed duty at NAFDAC a year ago, the agency was in debt to the tune of N3.2 billion, mainly due to the non-payment of withholding tax to the Federal Government.
She, however, announced that the agency cleared all the debt within one year “due to proper financial management”.
The NAFDAC boss added that “Our Ports Inspection Directorate has been able to recover N533 million of evaded administrative charge from stakeholders unpaid from 2014 to 2017.
She said that NAFDAC, under her leadership, cleared a backlog of 6,000 applications for registration of products.
Adeyeye said that the agency would on Dec. 15, begin online registration of drugs and foods.