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Kano Drug Dealers Resisting NAFDAC’s Eviction Order, Says DG

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has accused medicine dealers in major markets in Kano State of resisting its fight against substandard and falsified medicines (SFS).

The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said the drug outlets numbering about 1,370 refused to relocate their pharmaceutical businesses from the open drug markets in Mai Karami Plaza, Niger Street, Malam Kato and Sabon Gari areas of Kano to the Coordinated Wholesale Centres in Dangwauro area of the State.

She said owners of the outlets were given a Monday, February 19, 2024, deadline to report to the offices of NAFDAC and Pharmacy Council Nigeria, at the Coordinated Wholesale Centre in Dangwauro area of Kano and to arrange for the relocation of their businesses to the Centre.

However, Adeyeye said most of the shop owners failed to comply with the directive.

Adeyeye who addressed journalists at NAFDAC’s headquarters in Abuja, on Wednesday, said: “Over the years, the medicine dealers in Kano have resisted all attempts by concerned regulatory authorities to relocate their pharmaceutical businesses from the open drug markets in Mai Karami Plaza, Niger Street, Malam Kato and Sabon Gari areas of Kano to the Coordinated Wholesale Centres in Dangwauro area of the State.”

The NAFDAC boss said the dealers even filed a suit in court seeking to reject relocation to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre but were ordered by the court to relocate their businesses to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre.

As a result, Adeyeye said a landmark judgement was made by Justice Simon Amobeda in Kano Federal High Court on February 16, 2024, ordering the open drug marketers in Kano to relocate their stores to Dangwauro Coordinated Wholesale Center (CWC), Zaria Road, Kano.

“Sequel to this court ruling NAFDAC in conjunction with the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) on 17th and 18th of February 2024 embarked on an enforcement action to cause the relocation of the medicine dealers from the open drug markets of Sabon Gari, Malam Kato and Mai Karaimi to the CWC.

“A total of 1,370 wholesale medicine outlets and packing stores were sealed in the three open drug markets,” she said.

Adeyeye said open market sale of medicine was responsible for the influx of fake and adulterated drugs and medical devices across the country.

She warned that henceforth the enforcement department of the agency will swoop on markets to close down erring shops displaying medicines outside approved centres.

She also disclosed that the target of NAFDAC was to eliminate drug hawkers

The NAFDAC DG said dealers in other large drug markets in Lagos, Onitsha and Aba should be ready to move to the CWC as soon as the centre was constructed in those cities.

She urged medicine dealers to see this move to the CWC  as a positive move for the survival of public health and as part of efforts to continue the fight against Substandard and Falsified medicines (SF)

“Removing SFs from the circulation will make Nigerians healthier and since only healthy bodies can contribute positively to the economy, it will make Nigerians wealthier and the economy better.

“The chaotic drug distribution system in Nigeria has been a sore point to drug regulatory agencies, especially to NAFDAC.

“This disorderly chain of movement of medicine in the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the final consumer is inimical to the efficacy of pharmaceutical products and is the primary cause of Substandard and Falsified medicines in circulation.

“To eliminate SFs, the Presidential Committee on Pharmaceutical Sector Reform (PCPSR) constituted in 2003, to, among others, develop strategies towards the sanitisation of the drug distribution system in Nigeria. 

“The CWC is a product of the PCPSR. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate, is one of the architects of CWC and in full support of the Centres,” Adeyeye said.

Onyebuchi Ezigbo

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