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Nigeria: Misery & Anguish in Onitsha
By Ayodele Adedeji
( Friday, April 20, 2007 )
Photo Above: (Mrs) Dora Nkem Akunyili, head of the National Agency for Food and Drug Adminstration and Control (NAFDAC), which is leading Nigeria's crackdown on fake drugs
I am compelled to alert the nation on the activities of National Agency for food and drug administration and control (NAFDAC). We have been following events at Onitsha Bridge Head Market Drug section, since Tuesday last week. The Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Dora Akunyili has addressed the press more than two times since this incident started so also the Deputy Director of enforcement, Dioka Ojionueme.
But what they are telling Nigerians are far from the truth, we decided to do this in other to keep the record straight, we carried out a comprehensive investigation of the activities of NAFDAC at the Onitsha drug Market and discovered that what Dora Akunyili was doing is very dangerous, inhuman and destruction of her own people. The drugs NAFDAC is parking out of the Onitsha drug Market to our own estimation are running into billions of naira, both unregistered and registered ones with the Agency, most of which the directors of the companies that own these products are seen explaining to NAFDAC Officials why the NAFDAC numbers are not printed on the labels or packets, to our astonishment NAFDAC officials do disregard this explanation and carry the products to their destruction locations.
Another 40% of the affected products are products from International recognized Companies, such as Essential drugs and other quality products from Europe, US, and Pakistan. The remaining 20% are items such as drug envelops, elastoplasts, bandages, cotton wools, drips and syringes and only in rare occasions they will discover items such as Vitamins A, C, etc. and other over-the-counter drugs, just because they are not registered they will be taken away. Having assessed the number of products so far taking away, we felt that what NAFDAC is doing to these Onitsha traders needs to be looked into properly by the president of the Federation, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
The Federal Government should stop NAFDAC from continuing this exercise with immediate effect. The market can remain closed at the moment pending when NAFDAC analyses about 25% out of all the products they have so far taken away from this Market. To ascertain itís originality or otherwise. Other International Agencies such as WHO, USAID, UNDP, should be invited to take inventory of all these products and advice the Federal Government on their Findings. Other Independent bodies should equally participate; declaring all these products Fake is wicked, inhuman and unacceptable. Another aspect of our investigation is the entry point of these products, we are made to believe that the products are being imported and shipped to Nigerian Ports from both sea and air and there are NAFDAC officials at these entry points.
What we heard is unbelievable, Nigerians should know that what Akunyili is doing at the ports shows that she is one of the most corrupt Nigerians. Through her Agents at the ports, they collect three hundred thousand naira (N300.000) per 1000 kg or three hundred naira (N300.00) per kilo of the imports, before such unregistered drugs are cleared. There is no day the NAFDAC officials at the ports are not going home with less than (N5,000,000.00.) five million naira. If what we heard is correct, why then should they come back for the same products they collected money and cleared.
We are pleading with the Federal Government to send EFCC and other anti corruption Agencies to investigate this allegation and if found to be true, Professor Dora Akunyili and Dioka ojionueme should be made to face the law because both are collaborators in this heinous crime. This message should be published for the interest of all Nigerians and the world at large, we must expose these elements of destruction in our society
We bring you unfettered and uncensored news, be it good or bad. Above article has been published as submitted( unedited ) in line with freedom of speech and might be below the grammatical standard of Masterweb articles. Send comments to email@example.com
Photo Above: Piles of siezed fake drugs at a NAFDAC dump site awaiting destruction.
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