The Nigeria Customs Service and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have set up an eight- member committee to check the influx of counterfeit medicines and other substandard regulated products into the country.
According to a statement signed by the director, Public Affairs, NAFDAC, Abubakar Jimoh, the establishment of the joint committee was the fall out of the courtesy visit by director general of NAFDAC, Professor Moji Adeyeye, to the Nigeria Customs Comptroller General, Retired Colonel Hameed Ali, recently, in Abuja.
Ali said it has become imperative for NAFDAC and NCS to close rank and work together in the interest of Nigerians, particularly the youths and housewives who are exposed to the devastating effects of abuse of codeine-containing cough syrups and tramadol illegally shipped into the country.
He pointed out the urgent need for NAFDAC and NCS to put in place quick measures to prevent Nigerian politicians from taking undue advantage of our vulnerable youths and getting them hooked to drugs so they can be used as thugs during electioneering campaigns.
In her response, NAFDAC DG, Professor Adeyeye hinted that the newly established joint committee would come up with action plan on Intensive Education, Training and Foreign Exchange Programme for personnel of both agencies as well as joint enforcement operations.
She said other areas of collaboration include timely examination of suspected containers based on intelligence report, regular invitation of NAFDAC officials to participate in examination of NAFDAC regulated products, support to NAFDAC to prevent clearing agents from false declaration of consignments and timely release of containers to NAFDAC for destruction after seizure notice has been submitted to NCS.
The DG commended the initiatives and eagerness of the Controller-General to support NAFDAC’s concerted efforts to rid the country of counterfeit drugs and substandard regulated products.