Court Orders NAFDAC To Warn Against Drinking Fanta, Sprite With Vitamin C

Man Arraigned For Alleged Assault And Public FightA Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island, has ordered the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to order the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) PLC, to put a written warning on Fanta and Sprite bottles stating that both soft drinks are poisonous, when consumed along with Vitamin C.

The court also held that NAFDAC failed Nigerians by declaring, as fit for human consumption, products discovered by tests in the United Kingdom as turning poisonous when mixed with Ascorbic Acid (popularly known as Vitamin C).

In the judgment given by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, the court awarded a cost of 2million Naira against NAFDAC.

The court judgment was given in a suit filed by a Lagos-based businessman, Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited, against NBC PLC and NAFDAC.

Mr. Adebo, had in the suit, urged the court to declare that NBC was negligent to its consumers by bottling Fanta and Sprite with excessive levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives.

The businessman also urged the court to order NAFDAC to carry out routine laboratory tests on all the soft drinks and related products NBC bottles to ensure their safety for consumption.

In documents before the court, it was alleged that in March 2007, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Company bought large quantities of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and soda water from NBC for export and subsequent retail in the United Kingdom.

But when the consignment arrived the United Kingdom, health authorities in that country, precisely the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard’s Department of Environment and Economy Directorate, raised fundamental health issues on the contents and composition of Fanta and Sprite.

Findings by the United Kingdom Health Authorities were also corroborated by other agencies in European Union countries, which found the products to contain excessive levels of sunset yellow and benzoic acid, which are known to be carcinogenic.

On account of the irregularities and carcinogenic substances present in the drinks, Mr. Adebo and his company said they could not sell the Fanta and Sprite, this caused huge losses for the company, as the products were seized and destroyed by the United Kingdom Health Authorities.

The claimants equally alleged that NAFDAC did not carry out requisite tests to determine the safety of the drinks for human consumption.

In its response filed before the court by Mr. Tunde Busari, NBC admitted supplying the products, but contended that they are meant for local distribution and consumption, as it does not produce for export.

The company also denied that it was negligent, as it has stringent quality control procedures to ensure that its products are safe for end-user consumption.

NBC also rejected the allegation that the damages claimed by the businessman and his firm were caused by negligence or any fault on its part.

It argued that the levels of the chemical components in its soft drinks are safe for consumption in Nigeria and that the claimants are not entitled to the recovery of damages arising from their illegal exportation of products meant for local distribution.

NAFDAC on its part did not file any defense.

In her judgment, Justice Oyebanji said he was in absolute agreement with the claimants that soft drinks manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company ought to be fit for human consumption irrespective of whether they were to be consumed locally or exported.

He also held that NAFDAC has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and Sprite manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company.

The court then ordered, “That NAFDAC shall forthwith mandate Nigeria Bottling Company to, within 90 days, include on all the bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks manufactured by the company, a written warning that the content of the said bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous if taken with Vitamin C.

Gov Ahmed Makes Case For Local Herbal Medicine

Kwara, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Local Herbal Medicine, NAFDACKwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called for the incorporation of local herbal medicine into the orthodox medicine to reduce dependent on imported drugs.

Governor Ahmed made the call while receiving management of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), led by its Acting Director-General, Mrs Yetunde Oni, at the Government House in Ilorin.

He noted that researches from institutes and universities could be exploited and developed as alternative to western medicines.

The governor tasked NAFDAC to check the inflow of sub-standard and unwholesome foods and drugs, to ensure that only safe consumables are available for Nigerians.

He promised continuous support to the agency in Kwara State to enable it perform its statutory duties.

In an earlier remark, Mrs Oni assured Governor Ahmed that the agency would sustain efforts in ensuring that foods, drugs and chemicals billed for importation, exportation and advertisement were safe for human consumption.

She added that the agency was ready to work assiduously in Kwara State to check unwholesome and counterfeit drugs.

The NAFDAC boss solicited for support of the State Government in securing offices in Baruten and Irepodun local government areas of the state.

National Assembly To Enact Law To Strengthen NAFDAC

NAFDAC LogoThe National Assembly says it is ready to enact and amend relevant laws that will strengthen the National Agency for Foods, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in checking fake and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria.

The Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Services, Usman Muhammad stated this in Ilorin at the flag off of the workshop  on rational use of drugs, animal feeds, pesticides and chemicals organised by NAFDAC.

Muhammad particularly noted that the House of Representatives would continue to identify with NAFDAC in protecting Nigerians against consumption of fake and counterfeit drugs.

The acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni also called on stakeholders to maintain rational use of medicines in Nigeria, to ensure that only quality regulated products reach the market and ultimately, the consuming public.

She stated that, NAFDAC has adopted a holistic, multifaceted strategy which transcends local and international barriers in safeguarding the health of the nation.

These strategies she said included sustained public enlightenment campaigns, national and international collaborations, capacity building for members of staff and review of NAFDAC laws.

She however, implored Kwarans to buy medicines from only licensed pharmacies and patent medicines shops, promising to work in close collaboration with other agencies to ensure the rational use of medicines in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the representative of the State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed at the occasion, the Secretary to the State Government, Isiaka Gold advocated for stiffer penalties for manufacturers, suppliers and individuals found guilty of producing and distributing counterfeit drugs.

He however said that the activities of the individuals especially in the health sector have led to life threatening health situations and avoidable loss of lives, and urged the public to be vigilant while purchasing drugs and other related product.

Ahmed assured that the government would continue to support NAFDAC in its effort towards eradicating the circulation of products that are harmful to consumers.

He called on pharmacies in the state to ensure that they register and renew their licenses as at when due with the pharmacists council of Nigeria through the State Ministry of Health.

Osinbajo To Launch MSME Clinic In Kwara

MSME Clinic, Yemi Osinbajo, KwaraActing President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is set to launch a three-day Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic on Thursday, February 23 for viable enterprises in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Recall that Acting President Osinbajo commissioned the Aba MSME clinic on January 26.

Aba is the commercial hub of Abia State in southeast Nigeria.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau, Mr Segun Soewu, who made the disclosure in a statement on Monday, informed that the event would hold at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin by 10:00AM daily.

He described the clinic as an opportunity for MSME operators in the state to discuss the opportunities and challenges confronting their businesses.

The MSME Bureau boss added that business owners can also make inquiries about policies and regulations regarding their businesses from the Federal agencies that would be present at the programme.

He listed the agencies to include the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Export-Import Bank and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Others are Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Projects Development Institute, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.

Mr Soewu asked intending participants to contact the office of the Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau at the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives, Gambari Road in Ilorin.

 

NAFDAC Laboratory Gets International Accreditation

NAFDAC, Drug MonitoringThe National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has received accreditation for the testing of raw materials at its Southeast Zonal Laboratory in Anambra State.

The accreditation certificates were presented to the agency by the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) and the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC).

Speaking during the auspicious event, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, congratulated NAFDAC for the feat, but reminded the agency that the major challenge ahead was in maintaining the accreditation,

“It will be a major shame to lose it,” he warned.

Professor Adewole responded to issues concerning tariff paid on raw materials in the pharmaceutical sub-sector and maintained that he had taken up the issue to the Federal Government for immediate reappraisal to save the local industry.

The usually quiet premises of the South-east Zonal office of NAFDAC in Agulu, in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State came alive with sounds of music and presence of dignitaries from far and near including the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Nkem Okeke, the Minister of Health and the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Mrs. Yetunde Oni, among other important personalities.

They had gathered to witness the presentation of the certificates of accreditation for testing of raw materials in respect of 17025/2005 of the South-east Zonal NAFDAC Laboratory by the ANSI-ASQ International Accreditation Board.

The Acting Director General of NAFDAC told the gathering that the accreditation from the two bodies that promote standards globally would not only enable the laboratory to undertake multiple pharmaceutical testing tasks but stressed that it depicted that the South-east Zonal laboratory was competent and internationally recognised to produce valid and accurate results.

The representative of the Accreditation body, Dr. Jude Nwokike, pointed out that the feat achieved by NAFDAC was indicative of its competence in the pharmaceutical analytical process.

Rounding off the speeches, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State commended NAFDAC for efficient services, but decried the activities of fake drugs dealers and distributors in the state.

He highlighted the efforts of the state government in checking the menace.

The event is wrapped up with the presentation of the certificates to the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, an inspection tour of the Laboratory facility and a group photograph as a memoir of the special occasion.

We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo

We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, has again said that the quest for development of local capacity is a panacea for rapid economic growth.

He made this assertion during the Southeast maiden edition of Nationwide Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic held at Aba, after the media launch in Abuja on Tuesday.

Using as an analogy, the story President Muhammadu Buhari once told him about the importance of taking care of people “who do the things that make us comfortable”, the Vice President observed “it is important to pay attention to MSMES”.

“We will spend time to ensure that we give those who produce locally all the support that we can give, and that is why we are doing this clinics,” he said.

The Vice President went round the stands of all the agencies at the Aba MSMES Clinic and also those of several businesses and local manufacturers, all of whom were obviously elated at the Federal Government’s gesture to re-orient the relationship between them and the agencies.

He said that “you can’t do much for manufacturing without coming to Aba,” and adding that Aba traders, artisans, tailors, shoemakers and others “are the bedrock of our economy.”

According to him, the Nigerian government agenda is to create sustainable platform through its relevant agencies that would ensure that businesses in the country that produce locally made goods are given adequate support and wider spectrum to grow.

yemi-osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo examining some footwears made in Aba

He urged the relevant government agencies to see themselves as facilitators of the businesses and remove bottlenecks that are often reported when enterprises have something to do with the agencies.

Commenting at the Clinic, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okpezie Ikpeazu, who accompanied the Vice President said “with the visit of the Acting President to Abia today, the story of Aba traders will change. The visit of the Acting President is a testimony that something new is happening here.”

Professor Osinbajo who has since returned to Abuja, was also accompanied by the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah, among several other senior government officials.

The Office of the Special Adviser on Economic Matters in the Presidency devised the idea of a Clinic to bridge the gap between medium and small scale businesses and government agencies such as Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; Bank of Industry, BOI; Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS; Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC; and others.

The Clinic is meant to bring together all those agencies in one spot and at appointed times across the country to attend to the needs, questions and requests of people doing business.

NAFDAC Says Seized Consignment Is Not ‘Plastic Rice’ But Still Inedible

Customs, Plastic Rice, The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) has clarified the controversy surrounding the seizure of suspected ‘plastic rice’ in December.

Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service had intercepted a consignment of imported rice which it suspected to be plastic rice in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

The Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Oni, spoke about the controversy on Thursday at a joint press conference with Customs in Abuja.

Mrs Oni said that the final laboratory results on the suspected plastic rice proved negative.

She, however, declared the intercepted rice, which was branded as “Best Tomato”, unfit for human consumption since it failed other quality tests carried out by NAFDAC.

Officials of the Federal Operations Unit ‘Zone A’ of Customs had uncovered 102 bags of what was described as plastic rice imported into Nigeria.

The smugglers were said to have planned to cash in on the rush for the staple food during the festive season.

The Comptroller of the Unit, Mr Haruna Mamudu, told journalists that his men were working to unravel how the products came into the country.

 

NAFDAC Partners With CSOs To Effect Drug Monitoring

NAFDAC, Drug MonitoringThe National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it is partnering relevant organisations and civil society groups to strengthen its drug monitoring mechanism across Nigeria.

NAFDAC Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Professor Samson Adebayo, said the agency had also opened six zonal offices to make monitoring activities effective at states level.

He made the disclosure on Wednesday while representing the Director General of NAFDAC at a media chat in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Adebayo appealed to medical practitioners and patients to report any adverse reactions from medications to the agency, to enable it follow up on the efficacy of such medicines.

Gaidam Tasks NAFDAC On Unlawful Food And Drugs Control

Yobe, NAFDAC, Drug, Food, Ibrahim GaidamYobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has urged the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to effectively check the consumption of drugs and other unlawful products in Nigeria.

The Governor made the call at a meeting with the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Oni, at the Government House in Damaturu, the state’s capital.

The acting Director General of NAFDAC was accompanied by heads of the organisation in all the six states of Nigeria’s northeast geopolitical zone.

Governor Gaidam urged his visitors to renew their efforts in the fight against counterfeit drugs and products within the security prone zone.

He said unauthorised trading and consumption of counterfeit products add to the activities of the insurgents and tasked NAFDAC to play its part in changing the trend.

The governor lauded the visit, saying it would afford NAFDAC the ample opportunity to disseminate information and sensitise people on the danger of patronising drugs hawkers.

He added that the visit would enable the agency take decisive steps towards eradicating the practice of streets hawking of drugs and put an end to the problems of drug addiction and abuse.

Governor Gaidam also asked NAFDAC to conduct research in the area of farm produce preservation which he said had become a serious concern to farmers and also posed health hazards to consumers.

In her response, Mrs Oni sympathised with the government over the unfortunate and needless destruction of human lives and property by the Boko Haram militants.

She assured the governor that NAFDAC would collaborate with relevant agencies and well-meaning indignes of the state to fight the horrific activity.

The NAFDAC boss added that the agency would not relent in its onerous task of liberating Nigeria from the menace of counterfeit, fake drugs and unwholesome food products among others.

She vowed that the agency would continue to do its best in ensuring that only the right quality, safe and efficacious drugs, healthy foods and other regulated products were made available to the people.

Mrs Oni further presented some food and other items to Governor Gaidam to be distributed among the victims of Boko Haram insurgency who were still traumatised and homeless in their fatherland.

Obiano Signs 5.5bn Naira Bonding Container Terminal MoU

Obiano Signs Multi Billion Naira Bonding Container Terminal Mou Anambra state governor, Willie Obiano, has signed a 5.5 billion Naira Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for the construction of a Bonded Container Terminal in the state.

The Terminal which would be located at the industrial zone of Ozubulu in Ekwusigo local government area of the state, would occupy 13 hectares of land and would accommodate various facilities as well as some government agencies such NAFDAC, NDLEA and Nigeria Customs Services.

It is also expected to including a container examination shed, equipment maintenance workshop, lorry and container parks.

This was according to the Chairman of Anambra State Investment Protection and Promotion Agency (ANSIPPA), Cyril Enweze.

The terminal would provide commercial services such as transportation and distribution solutions, customs brokerage and compliance solutions, freight management solution, export documentation, processing, storage and packaging solutions. “The benefits are enormous,” he said.

Obiano says he would compliment the project by establishing a rail line to enhance productivity and avoid damage on roads due to movement of heavy duty truck on them constantly.

Chairman of Bonded Container Limited, Anthony Nwabunike, says the idea of choosing Anambra is due to the think home philosophy of Governor Obiano, targeted at making the state a first choice investment destination.

He noted that the project is strategic, based on the fact that about 47% of Anambra people are into importation business and that the challenges they face in the hands of Nigeria Customs Officers on the road are numerous.

He then assured indigenes of timely construction of the project within the ten months stipulated period.

The governor who expressed excitement over the project, stated that it is in line with the export activities of the state.

He added that he had finalized talks with a Chinese company on the project.

Stating other benefits, he revealed that it would not only enhance business activities in the state, but would also create 250 direct jobs and 750 indirect jobs which would ultimately boost the state’s internally generated revenue.

NAFDAC Destroys Drugs Worth Millions In Nasarawa

NAFDAC Destroys Fake Products In AbujaThe National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has destroyed fake drugs over 21 million Naira.

According to NAFDAC, some of the drugs where submitted voluntarily by some non-governmental organisations and government agencies while some were seized by the agency during enforcement and surveillance activities across the state.

Participating in the destruction and firing of the drugs, the state governor, Mr. Tanko Al-Makura says he was there to encourage and motivate the agency to do more.

He expressed displeasure with the way and manner young people in the state consume illicit drugs, calling it a catastrophic tide that must be stopped.

He assures that he will continue to support the agency and the NAFDAC in order to eliminate the trend of hawking and patronage of fake and adulterated drugs by the people.

“We are going to support them in terms of logistics and everything they require to rid the state off illicit and fake drugs” He said.

He used the opportunity to call on people harbouring sub standards drugs to weary of such habits.

NAFDAC Destroys Fake Products In Abuja

NAFDAC Destroys Fake Products In AbujaThe 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.”