Poor funding and low availability of manpower is limiting the potential to curb fake products from spreading around the country, Moji Adeyeye, director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said following a public outcry over the high rate of counterfeiting.
Adeyeye said the agency is not fully equipped with the staff that can cover surveillance nationwide, noting that 95 percent of the funding it deploys is internally generated.
“We have only 2,000 staff for a population of 215 million. South Korea has 50 million people and its NAFDAC equivalent has 3,000 working for it. That is also part of the problem,” she said reacting to questions during an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday.
She said the concerns have been tabled before the National Assembly but substantial results are yet to be achieved.
She also noted that the agency had acquired 40 pieces of true scan for detecting substandard falsified medicines and revealed the level of the active substance in the medicine.
“We have used it for qualitative identification. The quantitative aspects needs a lot of chemo metrics and our staff are undergoing the training right now,” she said.
She further explained that the devices are to be used at the borders and ports to assess medicines.
“The initial plan was to purchase 72 and distribute two per state and borders but the naira fluctuations affected and we had to reduce it to 40.
Another problem she highlighted is that Nigeria has many porous borders that are not manned. This affects the quality of products flowing into the country.
Reacting to how counterfeit producers clone imitations to perfection, she urged the public to buy products from credible marketers and avoid roaming marketers.
She said consumers can also call 800163322 to confirm what they are buying.
“You will have somebody on the line that can answer the call and point you to the right direction. She also said consumers can scan the bar code on the product that can indicate the source,” she said.