The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) against aiding the illegal importation of medical syringes, warning that it was hurting local pharmaceuticals.
The agency urged ANCLA to put national interest over and above personal gains in their activities as clearing agents at the nation’s ports.
During a visit by ANLCA executives to NAFDAC’s Lagos corporate office, Mojisola Adeyeye, the director-general, highlighted the detrimental impact of unauthorised syringe imports on local pharmaceutical companies.
Adeyeye expressed her concern after witnessing substantial investments made by a Nigerian pharmaceutical company in syringe production during a recent facility tour.
Despite the commendable local facilities, she revealed that over 1.5 billion units of the product remained unsold due to the influx of imported syringes, which not only undermined the local market but also posed risks to public health.
The NAFDAC DG disclosed that intelligence reports indicated compromises at ports, allowing illegal importation of unregistered syringe containers. Citing a USFDA publication, she emphasised the poor quality of some syringes originating from Southeast Asia and urged Customs agents to prioritise the nation’s interest.
Adeyeye empathised with local manufacturers facing challenges due to low sales, emphasising the need for meticulous oversight of export processes. She underscored the pivotal role of licensed Customs agents in ensuring legal and safe import/export practices, safeguarding compliance with required standards.
The discussion extended beyond syringes, addressing challenges faced by Nigeria’s food and agricultural commodities in international markets. Adeyeye highlighted the rejection of approximately 70 percent of exports, emphasising the importance of adherence to regulatory assessments to avoid disgracing the country.
Emenike Nwokochi, the national president of ANLCA, pledged the association’s commitment to collaborating with NAFDAC to boost the nation’s economy. He expressed concerns about the misattribution of agricultural products to other West African countries, emphasising the need to increase exports to support the naira amid economic challenges.