Soon after the raid in Osun and Niger, The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has shut down 16 herbal medicine facilities and seized products over illegal operations in Onitsha, Anambra state.

The agency had sanctioned no fewer than 100 practitioners from January 2015 till date. However, the raids and seizures have been described not to be punitive but as a way of ensuring the practitioners appreciate the importance of due process in their respective businesses.

Dr. Christiana Esenwa, a Deputy Director and Coordinator at the agency, said that the affected companies were sanctioned for illegal manufacturing, sales, hawking and unapproved advertisements. “We had earlier sensitised the herbal medicine practitioners to the need to have their companies and products registered as well as avoid illegal advertisements of their products. Rather, they choose to ignore the warnings of the agency and have developed a habit of going back to business even after sanctioning them.”

She said the agency was planning stiffer penalties against defaulters with an increase to the current N20,000 administrative charge, to deter illegal practitioners from operating without the agency’s approval.

According to her, the defaulters with manufacturing outfits will be enlightened on how best to manufacture products that are safe for consumption.

Author: Yemi Olarinre