The Government of Benin Republic and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) intercepted and destroyed five containers of unregistered drugs, including Tramadol, valued at N95 billion.
In a statement released on Monday, January 23, 2023, the agency stated that the development comes after four and a half years of monitoring with the assistance of the Beninese Government.
According to the statement, “Following an intelligence report from the Presidency, Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye in August 2018 directed the Director of Ports Inspection Directorate, Prof. Samson B. Adebayo on the intention of some unscrupulous importers to ship thirty-one (31) containers of unregistered pharmaceutical products including tramadol 200mg and above from India. The containers were labelled building materials and for bonded terminal.”
According to the agency, some of the containers were discovered to contain building materials, while others were discovered to contain illegal substances.
The agency said, “One container was transferred to the Cotonou port in the Republic of Benin, while the remaining four were initially diverted to the Tema Port in Ghana but later diverted them to Cotonou having met resistance from Ghana Food and Drug Agency that NAFDAC already contacted for collaboration to stop the four (4) containers.”
“Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, then liaised with the Ambassador of Nigeria to the Republic of Benin at the time, His Excellency, Kayode Oguntuase, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the port authority in the Republic of Benin effected the seizure of the five containers on the request of NAFDAC.
“His successor, His Excellency Olukayode O. Aluko, never relented in his effort at ensuring that all these five (5) containers are released to NAFDAC for destruction.
“Meanwhile, for the other twenty-four containers, some entity took the case to court in Benin that the containers should be brought back to Nigeria. This took about one year plus but Ambassador Aluko stayed on the case until the court made the judgement that the containers can be destroyed in Benin.
“Alas, the government of the Republic of Benin eventually agreed to engage with the Nigerian counterparts to carry out the destruction of these containers in Cotonou.”