Illegal importation of syringes killing local pharmaceutical industries, says NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has warned against importation of syringes from foreign countries, lamenting that the act will kill local pharmaceutical industries.

This is contained in a statement signed by NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

Adeyeye admonished members of the new executive of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents who were on a courtesy visit to her office in Lagos to think more of the interest of the country above personal as clearing agents in the nation’s ports.

She enjoined the agents to join forces with the NAFDAC to end the rejection of Nigerian food exported to EU, USA and other western countries.

She also narrated how she marveled at the stupendous investments committed to local production of Syringes in Nigeria by a local pharmaceutical company during a recent facility tour.
The NAFDAC boss said that the standard of the facilities she met on ground was comparable to those found in the U.S. or any country in Europe.

She said after the facility tour and being led into the warehouse, she was highly disturbed at the sight of huge unsold products.

She said 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, in spite of the high import duty slammed on the product to protect the local market.

She also noted with regret that intelligence reports reaching her indicated that some compromises were being made at the port of entry in allowing illegal importation of unregistered containers of syringes into the country.

The NAFDAC DG revealed that a publication by the United States Food and Drug Agency stated that some syringes that came from Southeast Asia were of bad quality
Adeyeye wondered that those products didn’t fly by night into warehouses in Nigeria, but through individuals.

The NAFDAC boss expressed sympathy for manufacturers, stating that she was pained by the challenges of not making sales, especially after investing a significant amount of money.

Adeyeye explained the important role of licensed customs agents as pivotal in facilitating the legal and safe import and export of goods, ensuring compliance with required standards.
She welcomed the familiarisation visit, highlighting its objective in establishing effective collaboration and cooperation.

‘’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.

“That is why I attach 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.”

In the area of exports, she said the international market was competitive in nature.
According to her, only products of high quality with relevant certifications and quality packaging were acceptable to the global trade.

She noted with dismay that the problem of quality, standard, certification and appropriate packaging for made-in-Nigeria products destined for export had been an issue in the international market.

She however, emphasised the need to address the issue of rejections, adding that some exporters obtained the wrong documentation, especially fake lab results, instead of bringing their products to NAFDAC’s ISO 17025:2015 accredited labs for analysis.

The National President of ANLCA, Mr Emenike Nwokochi, who spoke in the same vein, lamented that it was shameful to buy yam abroad and be told that it was from Ghana when Nigeria was the highest producer of the product.

He said that Nigerians could not do anything to help the Naira even when it continued to fall.
He, however, pledged his association’s resolve to work in collaboration with NAFDAC to achieve the common goal of developing the nation’s economy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *