By Chioma Obinna & Ebele Onuoha
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has clamped down on unregistered drug outlets and hawkers operating along Onikoyi lane, Idumota area of Lagos as no fewer than 20 shops were raided and owners arrested.
Addressing journalists at the scene of the raid, Deputy Director, Enforcement of NAFDAC, Mr. Garuba Mac-Donald, said the action of the agency was informed by the increasing activities of owners of illegal drug shops and hawkers in the area.
Mac-Donald who explained that the shops raided were all unregistered shops said the condition at which the drugs are stored could reduce the drug to mere chalk even when the products are original.
Giving further reasons why the shops are being raided, he said: “If there are problems with those products, it would be difficult for the agency to recall them as most of the shops are not located at registered drug premises.”
On the arrest of the owners of those shops, he said: “We arrested them after impounding their goods to be able to get the importers who usually give them products at give away prices. We are taking them to our offices for interrogation in order to get to the root of the matter.”
Mac-Donald called on Nigerians to stop patronising illegal drug outlets and drug hawkers in buses saying that most of the drugs due to their storage system may lose their potency.
Stating that the exercise would be a continuous one he said “Drugs are not like any other product. It should not be sold anywhere. People should stop patronising these hawkers in molue buses. Drugs should be handled by qualified pharmacists. NAFDAC is not witch- hunting anybody but trying to save Nigerians from dying from fake drugs.”
However, most of the owners of the shops arrested refused to speak to the journalists claiming they have nothing to say to anybody.