30th August, 2010
If the words of the Director General of National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Paul Orhii, are anything to go by, peddlers of fake drugs will be made to face life jail term if convicted in the country.
Orhii says his agency is considering a recommendation to the Federal Government on the need to initiate a bill to the National Assembly for a law to give life jail term to fake drug peddlers in the country.
While speaking on NTA Network programme at the weekend, Orhii said because of the light jail term given to the peddlers in the country, the numbers of people dealing in fake drugs has continued to increase.
He noted that apart from the stiffer punishment, which he believes would curb the activities of the peddlers, he also wants the law to give NAFDAC the power to confiscate the property of any convicted drug peddler, adding that if there is any verifiable death of a victim, who uses fake drugs, such property confiscated should be sold by government to pay the family of the deceased.
â€œThe penalty given to people peddling of narcotics is stiffer to the ones on fake drugs. That is why NAFDAC is considering a recommendation to the government a law that will give a maximum life jail term and confiscation of property of any convicted suspect.
â€œI have come to realize that some of the people dealing in narcotic drugs have been shifting their activities to fake drugs business because we have a law that is not all that hard on the suspect in this business.
â€œI also discovered that it is easier for these people to transact fake drugs business unlike narcotics, which route is a difficult terrain. That is why NAFDAC will not rest on its oars until the war against fake drugs is won in the country,â€ Orhii said.
The NAFDAC boss also debunked the rumour that the activities of the agency are being influenced by some people since he took over the mantle of leadership after the exit of former DG, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who is now the Minister of Information.
According to him, â€œthere is no time we were being influenced by anybody in the course of our operation in NAFDAC. I donâ€™t think such thing will happen in the agency. The Federal Government always gives us free hand to operate without any interference.â€