NAFDAC Warns against Obstruction of Enforcement Duty

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned against obstruction of its personnel while carrying out enforcement operations against substandard drugs and falsified goods.

Mr Shaba Mohammed, Director of Investigation and Enforcement, NAFDAC, gave the warning in an interview with the Newsmen in Abuja.

Mohammed, also the Chairman, Federal Task Force on Fake and Counterfeit Products, said some of the drug hawkers and touts who attacked the enforcement team of the agency in February have been arraigned in court.

He said some of these involved in the attack were facing trial before Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of Federal High Court, Abuja, adding that the arraignment would serve as deterrent to those with similar intentions.

“Those arraigned recently in court are part of those who attacked NAFDAC officials while on enforcement duty some months ago.

“Arraigning them in court is to pay for their sins, this is also to advise the public to desist from attacking NAFDAC staff while on duty’’, he said.

“I will not say there are no counterfeit products in circulation. But such product is brought into the country by unscrupulous elements who do not mean well for the country’’, he said.

He said such criminals who bring in counterfeit drugs used hawkers to push them into circulation, adding that NAFDAC will not stop arresting hawkers until the whole system is sanitised.

The director said arresting the hawkers would help NAFDAC track the sources of counterfeit products, whether imported or produced locally.

“The public should support NAFDAC to sanitise the system. Anyone caught in such act will be prosecuted thoroughly because that is obstruction of Federal Government team in performing its jobs.

“Sales of drug in market places, hawking or in moving vehicle is actually prohibited by NAFDAC law.

“This is regarded as a criminal act and that is why we are prosecuting those that have committed crime against NAFDAC act’’, he said.

He said that as the director of investigation and enforcement in NAFDAC, he would work closely with the Federal Task Force, which consists of other related agencies, to rid the country of counterfeit drugs and goods.

Mohammed listed some of the organisations in the about-to-be-inaugurated team as Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Customs Service, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC).

He said that one of the strategies the taskforce would be using to curb fake drugs out of the country is the manning of points of entry into the country to intercept all counterfeit products.

“We will also be using Post Marketing Surveillance, whose officials would function like undercover agents,” he said.

Vanguard/ Priscilla Edet

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