Officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have disrupted the unveiling of an anti-COVID-19 herbal syrup in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The officials stopped the unveiling briefing organised by a herbal medicine practitioner, Paul Oni, on Thursday at the Centenary Hall in the Ake axis of the state capital.
The officials who stormed the venue in company with some policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), letter led Oni to his factory and sealed the facility after inspecting it.
According to the NAFDAC, the programme was stopped because the product had not been certified scientifically.
The agency said the producer was a client who knows the procedures having secured NAFDAC number for some of his products on two different occasions.
“But this product, in particular, has not passed through the NAFDAC processes. Besides, he did breach advertisement control policy by advertising the product.”
Briefing reporters after the factory was sealed, Oni decried the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
He also lamented what he called outrageous approval levies by NAFDAC, saying he could not afford the outrageous cost of approval and clinical trials.
“The normal cost that you will incur in going through the NAFDAC process is about N600,000 which does not include the clinical trials of N1.5 million.
The herbal medicine practitioner, who denied bypassing the agency’s procedures, explained that the programme was meant to seek partnership and support, as well as raise for a fund for the product to undergo the proper processes and certification.
He insisted that the herb was ‘anti-viral and anti-malignant’ and capable of curing COVID-19.
Oni alleged that all efforts to secure the support of the Minister of Health and other major stakeholders have not yielded positive results.