About 201,600 tins of fake shoe polish of Kiwi brand, worth over N40m have been destroyed in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
The fake products were packed in a warehouse in Onitsha by undisclosed importers who were said to have ordered them from abroad for sales to members of the public and for distribution to other countries.
Loaded in three trucks, the products were taken to a dump site and set ablaze on the orders of Justice Bature Gafai of the Federal High Court, Awka.
According to the order, the fake products are to be destroyed in the presence of a court bailiff, the Police, officials of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and the media.
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Addressing the press after the destruction of the products, the counsel to the franchise owners of the original shoe polish said the court, aside the destruction order of the fake products, also slammed two million naira cost of damages on the illegal importers to be paid to the court.
The franchise owners say the public destruction is to serve as a deterrent to others in illegal businesses.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has destroyed expired and counterfeit medicines and other regulated products which it says is worth over 70 million naira.
At a press briefing before the destruction exercise in Abuja, the Acting Director-General of the agency, Mrs Yetunde Oni told journalists that NAFDAC is winning the war against counterfeiting in Nigeria.
“Today, we witness the destruction of various categories of regulated products as one of the strategies employed by NAFDAC to prevent the circulation of fake, counterfeit medicines and unwholesome regulated products.
“These products are worth over 75 million naira. We must stress that some of these products were voluntarily submitted to NAFDAC by various governmental and non-governmental organizations whilst others were mopped up from open market via enforcement activities and surveillance system of NAFDAC,” she said.
She however explained that the agency is in the process of reviewing its laws to enable it perform optimally.
“Permit me to state here that our laws are being reviewed to make the business of counterfeiting no longer business as usual and very unattractive to those people who engage in wanting to kill innocent citizens all because of business.
“We are optimistic that in the near future we would have nothing to destroy as we work toward ensuring availability of good, quality, safe and affordable medicines and wholesome regulated products to the Nigerian populace.”