Amid growing concerns about and circulation of herbal drugs that pose serious health risks across the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has begun an intensified crackdown on all illegal manufacturers and distributors of herbal medicine and other unregistered preparations to bring perpetrators to book and minimize usage.
The agency announced that it has raided and sealed a popular local herbal medicine factory in Niger state, arrested its manufacturer, one Salisu Sani also known as Baban Aisha whose criminal activities were far beyond its expectation. Sani was arrested for manufacturing herbal medicine with an expired registration license and for illegal advertisement and sale of sacra herbs oral liquid.
Christianah Adeyeye, the director-general, NAFDAC, while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday informed that the agency embarked on the raid following concerns on the sacra herbs oral liquid, and viral social media outburst on the nefarious activities of the factory, Sacra Multi-Links.
Consequently, “We have commenced a nationwide mop-up of the Sacra Herbs in circulation. We have also intensified crackdown on all illegal manufacturers and distributors of herbal preparation and other unregistered preparations, with a view to bringing perpetrators to book and minimize the usage of the substance”, Adeyeye said.
Similarly, the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of the Agency also clamped down on some distributors of some herbal medicines- Hajia Ayisha Special Snuff AK 47 in northern Nigeria following an intelligence report, the DG said.
Addeye said the agency’s findings revealed that the herbal snuff was manufactured in Ghana and was approved for use as an analgesic by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) of Ghana; but, is being wrongly packaged and passed off as a snuff for the Nigerian market.
“Investigation further revealed an alarming trend in the use of these poisonous preparations by wide sections of the populace, cutting across all genders and age groups, including young boys and girls, men and married women, drivers and artisans.
“The snuff, popularly called “Shake” or “Angoro” herbal powder comes under different street names, such as AK 47, Moringa, Black coffee (Dan Kano), Magic powder, Lufthansa, Desert Warrior, etc.
“The chemical substance in these deadly products of abuse is pyridine which belongs to a class of toxic alkaloids found in some plants of the Nicotiana species, which include the tobacco plant. It can be highly addictive, and it is associated with a range of serious health consequences, including increased risk of cancer, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, etc.”
The agency, during the raid on Baban Aisha herbal factory, confiscated several herbal products including Sacra Herbs oral liquid and two additional unregistered herbal preparations namely Baban Aisha Man Power and Delay and Cure Powder Kai Kadai Gayya, unlabelled brown liquid, potash, alum, HD injection polythene, kettles, among others. The DG said all the products have been sent to the NAFDAC laboratory for analysis, to ascertain their content and effects.
Some other products mopped up from circulation include Hajia Ayisha special snuff AK 47, Hajia Ayisha snuff AK 47, Hajia Ayisha Masanda original powerful powder, Hajia Ayisha snuff Nasrullah snuff No. 1, Hajia Salma Special snuff, Lufthansa Man power snuff, 99 Bullet more power snuff, AK 47 Power snuff, Hajia Salma VIP Moringa, Forever Journey, Dr Lambo Moringa snuff, Danmilla Kokoo herbal powder, the Desert Warrior, Hajia Salma sundu. The products are abused for various reasons, including, to create pleasure, to get into ecstasy, increased libido etc.
The DG, therefore appealed to all Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable group to desist from the use of the dangerous herbal preparation. “Be assured that NAFDAC is doing everything to ensure that only safe and efficacious medicine, wholesome food, and quality regulated products are sold and used by Nigerians”, she assured.