The National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have warned Nigerian citizens of the popularity of fake alcoholic drinks, especially dry gin in the nation’s markets.
NAFDAC Special Duties Director, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh made this known on Tuesday in Jos that the agency had continually advised consumers of alcoholic beverages to be at alert and wary of fake and unregistered drinks.
“Drinking alcohol is bad enough and people are always advised to take it in moderation; so, the danger associated with taking a fake drink can only be imagined,” he said.
NAFDAC has taken its campaign against fake drinks to Gombe, Plateau, Bauchi, Benue and many other states in the North and traditional and religious leader have been engaged to lead the effort, Jimoh stated.
He particularly criticized the extensive intake of dry gin (ogogoro and Goskolo) by young people and beckoned on stakeholders to join in the fight “especially since the youths are the group most affected”.
“We have found that the youths rely on such drinks to gather enough courage to commit all manners of atrocities like armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, killing and the rest.
We have, therefore, continued to intensify our campaigns and that has resulted into some states coming up with bylaws that banned some alcoholic beverages.
We have also raided production and drinking points of some of these dangerous drinks, especially in Edo and Delta States, because the drinks have damaged many livers, kidneys and other vital organs of the body.
They have also led to the gradual decline in the health status of many youths and totally destroyed their capacity to contribute to societal development,” he said.
Jimoh said that the drinks subject requires attention, especially now that government was asking Nigerians to go back to the farm in efforts to expand the county’s economy.
“Farming requires a lot of energy – which is the asset of youths. The drinks destroy that energy, hence the need to rid society of them,” he said.
Speaking further, the NAFDAC official said that it was usually hard to differentiate between the fake and genuine drinks because
“many producers usually gather empty bottles with NAFDAC-approved badges and pour the fake contents into them”. “Our advice is that the consumers must always be on the watch-out,” he said.
Jimoh who alleged that most governors had always paid lip service to the campaign against fake drugs and drinks called for more proactive steps from governors to safeguard members of the public.
He expressed satisfaction over the agency’s achievements in its war against fake drinks and drugs.
“The prevalence rate used to be 16.7%, now we have battled it down to 3.4% and shall never relent in the war,” he added.