THE PRESS AND SENSITIZATION OF THE PUBLIC ON FAKE DRUGS IN NIGERIA; AN EVALUATION OF THE
COVERAGE OF NAFDAC BY THE NIGERIA PRESS.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In the last few years, the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been news. There is hardly any day without the mention of NAFDAC by either electronic media or print media. This coverage is more of positive stories on the activities of the agency than negative. The agency is not new in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the agency was established in 1974 by the Federal Government with the promulgation of the food and drug decree by
administration of General Yakubu Gowon at a time the agency was a mere arm of the Federal Ministry of Health. The agency was to control the importation, sales and use of drugs bottled or canned food and pre-packed water in Nigeria. Twenty years are precisely in 1994, NAFDAC appeared as a full pledged agency with another decree amending the 1974 food and drug decree. THE NAFDAC decree was enacted in January 1993 as decree No 15. 1993 culminating in antinomies. Although the maiden governing council had been put in place 1992 by the federal Government with Ambassador Tanimu Saubawa as the chairman. Throughout this period the activities of the agency lacked the will to bark and bite importers, sellers and manufacturers of fake drugs, canned food and owner of unregistered sachet water called “pure water” during this period there was much trafficking of adulterated drugs that are dangerous to human life.
Hawking and setting up of quack medicine stores becomes produced drugs administered and soled them. The increasing incident of drug trafficking in Nigeria becomes an issue of concern to the Nigeria society especially are the civil war in 1970 and that was what lead to the promulgation of the 1994 decree but the decree could nor really control the menace of fake drug all its administration. The first Director General of NAFDAC was Professor G.E Osunde unfortunately; the professor could not achieve the desired result. Trafficking in fake drugs and administration thrived like normal business under him.