By Matthew Denis
The Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration Control (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye has cautioned Nigerians against too much fasting arguing it destroys the kidney.
The DG made the disclosure during a Media parley held at the agency headquarters Abuja on Monday.
She said ” we are a very religious in this country both Muslims and christians, we fast a lot, and it is part of the kidney problem. Because your body has to have homeostasis balance, meaning the water level in your body must be enough to make your organs to function. Some people will fast for 10, 20 days, without drinking a lot of water. The kidney is being punished.
“if you put chemicals in it, it triples in an exponential manner, with damage to the kidneys. This is because the kidney does not have enough water to dilute and filter. I fast but I fast with common sense. We have to fast with common sense, if not, we will pay it with our kidneys. Also, do not buy medicines from hawkers and corner stores. But medicines from pharmacies.”
Earlier, she revealed that following an intelligence report from the Presidency in August 2018 directed the Director of Ports Inspection Directorate, Prof. Samson Adebayo on the intention of some unscrupulous importers to ship thirty-one (31) containers of unregistered pharmaceutical products including tramadol 200mg and above from India as the containers were labelled building materials and for bonded terminal.
The Director, Ports Inspection Directorate, working with his Intelligence & Monitoring Unit commenced the surveillance and monitoring of the reported containers from the ports of loading to the successive ports where they were transloaded along the sea routes. The first approach was to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service under the leadership of Comptroller General (Col.) Ahmed Ali (rtd.). Eventually, twenty-one of the containers were discharged at the Apapa port in Lagos, Nigeria as manifested. One container couldn’t be tracked because of a missing container number. Out of the 21 containers, only two had building materials. However, as the importers of the containers became aware that NAFDAC was tracking and monitoring the containers on arrival at the Apapa port and intercepting them, they decided to change their strategy by diverting the remaining away from the Nigerian.
“Four containers never got to Nigeria but were discharged at transhipment in Malaysia, One container was transferred to the Cotonou port in the Republic of Benin while the remaining four were initially diverted to the Tema Port in Ghana but later diverted them to Cotonou having met resistance from Ghana Food and Drug Agency that NAFDAC already contacted for collaboration to stop the four (4) containers.
“NAFDAC then liaised with the Ambassador of Nigeria to the Republic of Benin at the time, His Excellency Kayode Oguntuase, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the port authority in the Republic of Benin effected the seizure of the five containers on the request of NAFDAC.
“His successor His Excellency Olukayode O. Aluko never relented in his effort at ensuring that all these five (5) containers are released to NAFDAC for destruction. Meanwhile the other twenty-four containers Some entity took the case to court in Benin that the containers should be brought back to Nigeria.
“This took about one year plus but Ambassador Aluko stayed on the case until the court made the judgement that the containers can be destroyed in Benin. Alas, the government of the Republic of Benin eventually agreed to engage with the Nigerian counterparts to carry out the destruction of these containers in Cotonou. The following products were found in the five containers during the joint physical examination.
The DG emphasized that the street value of the drugs was estimated at N95 Billion (Ninety-five billion Naira).
A team of NAFDAC officers (including Investigation & Enforcement Directorate officers), led by Prof Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection Directorate travelled to Cotonou where the destruction exercise of the five containers took place on 21st and 22nd December 2022.
“This international landmark achievement (that had never been recorded in the history of the two countries and NAFDAC) did not come without the unflinching efforts of the staff of Ports Inspection Directorate in Apapa and Seme Border.
“The Management and Governing Council of NAFDAC would like to recognize the support of the Following partners in the fight against misuse and abuse of drugs: The Government of the Republic Benin, Nigerian Embassy in the Republic of Benin, Nigeria Customs Service, andGhana Food and Drug Agency.
“We appreciate all individuals who have contributed in a significant way to ensure that today becomes a reality. More importantly, to the gallant officers of Ports Inspection Directorate (Seme and Apapa) who refused to be compromised by ensuring that the Agency continue in her efforts at safeguarding the health of the nation.