The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, has handed over seized expired drugs, valued at about N1.4 billion to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The FOU Zone A Acting Controller of the Service, DCG Kehinde Ejibunu, did the handing over on Tuesday at the service seized items yard, Ikeja, Lagos.
Ejibunu said that the drugs were manufactured in India and Malaysia, adding that the warehouse where the goods were seized from was sealed and the owner was still ion the run.
“The Duty Paid Value is N1.4 billion. The importer would have relabeled the drugs, to sell them to the public.”
“ As a part of the results achieved from the re~worked strategy; expired, illicit, and other drugs that did not comply with the statutory import requirements were intercepted at different times and locations.
“They are constructively warehoused in 39 x 140 ft and 2 x 20 ft containers by this Unit, and will be handed over to NAFDAC,” he said.
Receiving the drugs, the NAFDAC Director of Investigation, Mr Francis Onaniwu, commended the NCS for saving members of the public from more health challenges , which the expired drugs would have caused should they be used.
He said that the drugs expired in November 2021, stressing that the agency would investigate and analyse the drugs, to ascertain their potencies.
Onaniwu added that the agency was already investigating a case relating to similar drugs, stressing that one of the findings was to ascertain if the importer is same with the one they were investigating.
The director noted that the importer smuggled the drugs into the country because he knew if presented to the agency, they will not pass the laboratory tests.
Onaniwu said that the agency had dealt with such drugs and importers in the past.
He explained that the Controller of NCS handed over expired drugs, which was in large quantities, to NAFDAC.
“This is huge. Imagine if this quantity of drugs that are in these containers get to members of the public.
“The drugs , one is not sure of the quality, because from the one I am holding in my hand, the drug already expired in November 2021 and we know the implications of expired drugs.
“We are sure that if they have not been confiscated by NCS, definitely, if they enter circulation, the importers will not want to lose their investment.
“He will change the expired date to new date and relabel the drugs. People consuming such would have consumed poison,” he said.