The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has warned that the illegal importation of pharmaceutical consumables into the country poses a big threat to the survival of local pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria
She made this statement during a familiarisation visit by the newly inaugurated executives of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), led by its National President, Mr. Emenike Nwokochi, to the NAFDAC Lagos corporate office.
Prof Adeyeye narrated how she marvelled at the stupendous investments committed to the local production of Syringes in Nigeria by a local pharmaceutical company during a recent facility tour.
She said that the standard of the facilities she met on the ground was comparable to whatever facility that could be found in the US or any country in Europe, adding that after the facility tour and being led into the warehouse, she was highly disturbed at the sight of huge unsold products.
She noted that “over 1.5 billion units of the product were lying untouched in the warehouse due to low sales, exacerbated by the influx of imported syringes into the country, despite the high import duty slammed on the product to protect the local market.”
She revealed that a publication by USFDA stated that some syringes that come from Southeast Asia are of bad quality, adding that “those products didn’t fly by night and land in different warehouses in Nigeria; rather, they entered the country through individuals.
“I understand the challenges of not making sales, especially after investing a significant amount of money. That’s why I am particularly meticulous when it comes to overseeing our export processes.
“Nigeria has lost billions of naira in trade that could have benefitted our people. About 70 per cent of our exports are rejected, food products especially. All these rejected products did not go through NAFDAC regulatory assessment. It disgraces us as a country.
“It has also become a great issue of concern the number of substandard products coming into the country. That’s why I attach significant importance to this association because the goods that are either imported or exported often play a crucial role in determining the strength of our economy.”
She therefore admonished them to think more of the interest of the country over and above personal gains in their activities as clearing agents at the nation’s ports.