The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says “cabals” at the Nigerian ports are behind the influx of fake and substandard drugs into the country.
Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of NAFDAC, spoke on Thursday when she appeared before the house of representatives committee on healthcare services.
Adeyeye said the cabal was formed when the agency was removed from the ports between 2011 and 2016.
“Let us look at our porous borders, we are surrounded by six countries and there is no guard in terms of regulation of the border,” she said.
“From 2011 to May 2016, NAFDAC was removed from the ports. We are supposed to be controlling and regulating what is imported or exported; seven years and cabals were formed.
“We cannot undo the cabals overnight and this is why it has been extremely challenging in the last three and a half years. The federal task force is domiciled in NAFDAC and we are putting a lot of monies on enforcement.
“We went straight into the heart of the problem which is China and India. Before, there were loopholes in terms of testing products that come into our country.
“We have pegged that and decreased significantly the number of fake products coming into the country, over 95 percent of products we import are from China and India.
“We read them the riot act and we have gotten so much success in terms of things coming in.
“However, we still have a lot of work to do, a regulatory agency has to use tools, it is vehicles that we will use to run after drug smugglers.”
Adeyeye said the agency needs more personnel at the borders to curb the importation of fake drugs into the country.
Tanko Sununu, chairman of the committee, asked NAFDAC to embark on nationwide market surveillance to tackle fake drugs.
“When last did NAFDAC carry out mark surveillance nationwide… 2012 is too long, NAFDAC has the right to walk into any shop, pick any product and subject it to study,” he said.