The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Control, Dr. Paul Orhii, has described Sachet water business otherwise known as pure water as a huge business that generates more than N7bn daily for Nigeria.
Orhii, who disclosed this at a briefing on the survey of the Nigerian pharmaceutical market in Lagos yesterday, said the business had also reduced the number of Nigerians that die of water-borne diseases.
Speaking on the boom of the sachet water business, the NAFDAC boss said the advent of the trade had alleviated poverty and reduced the incidence of water -borne diseases in the country.
He, however, warned consumers to be careful irrespective of the cheapness of the product, noting that: "Is why many manufacturers are in it, but we check quality constantly through random sampling and market surveys. We are registering all operators to be able to monitor their activities."
The NAFDAC boss also expressed worry over faking of registration numbers on pharmaceutical and food products in the country.
Orhii said drug counterfeiters had advanced in their trade and had also acquired technologies that could be used to code and forge registration numbers on products.
He stated that due to this development, the agency had introduced SMS verification and other advanced coding methods that defy faking to reduce consumers' risks of purchasing fake products in the market.
He said: "We urge consumers to patronise only registered pharmacies and stores. Not all drugs that have registration numbers are genuine; it does not protect the drug or product from being faked. Pharmaceutical companies must continue to adopt latest technologies to ensure the efficacy of their products."
Orhii noted that the quantity of fake drugs in circulation had reduced globally due to the recent crackdown on drug barons and cocaine dealers. This, he said, had attracted them to the illegal activities of drug faking in the pharmaceutical business.