Charitable organisations and faith-based houses are used as dumping ground by most foreign donors who give out banned products to them in the name of donations this was made known by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) who raised the alarm.
The agency, which stated this at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday, warned such faith-based organisations and charitable non-governmental organisations to be wary of such donations, urging them to properly scrutinise donated items.
“We advise faith-based and charitable organisations to contact NAFDAC before the shipment of any donated NAFADAC-regulated items to Nigeria,” the Director, Investigation and Enforcement, NAFDAC, Mr. Kingsley Ejiofor, stated.
He also said that NAFDAC intercepted counterfeit and fake alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks valued at N200m at the Ogbaru Relief Market, Onitsha, Anambra State.
Ejiofor stated that the discovery was made following intelligence reports, which made the NAFDAC investigation and enforcement unit as well as the Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Unwholesome Processed Foods to storm several shops in the market used as the base for the production, distribution, sale and storage of fake versions of popular brands of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
He said the beverages were produced by manual mixing in plastic buckets and filled into bottles under very unhygienic conditions within the market premises.
“The team also discovered a container load of fake holograms, labels and packaging materials of the counterfeited brands,” Ejiofor stated.
He added that six suspects had been arrested, among whom was a pregnant woman, Chikezie Ogaejiofor.
The agency said it also carried out several raids on the nation’s seaports, adding that at the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, it discovered a consignment of 95 cartons of expired gloves and 595 crates of expired Smart Wellness Drinks, which were falsely declared by the manufacturer as 5,080 packs of medical equipment and books.
According to him, the agency also intercepted a consignment of sulphuric acid in front of an uncompleted building at Agbara area of Ogun State, adding that the suspect diluted the original concentration of 99.9 per cent to 50 per cent and relabelled it.
“The suspect has no chemical permit and the facility is not licensed to carry out such a sensitive and hazardous operation. It was also observed that there was no technical staff attached to the company,” Ejiofor explained.
He added that the agency equally seized containers and cartons of fake controlled pharmaceutical products and medical devices at the Apapa Port, including fake versions of popular pain killers in unapproved and life-threatening strength.
The NAFDAC director advised consumers to be watchful of known brands of drugs, foods and other regulated products, saying that they should not hesitate to report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhoods to the agency.