Abuja, Nigeria – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has announced its increased efforts to crack down on illegal manufacturers and distributors of herbal preparations and unregistered substances. This move aims to hold perpetrators accountable and minimize the usage of illicit substances. As part of this initiative, NAFDAC has detained a herbal medicine practitioner, Alhaji Salisu Sani, popularly known as Baba Aisha, for manufacturing herbal medicine with an expired registration license and engaging in the illegal advertisement and sale of Sacra Herbs Oral Liquid.
Speaking at a press briefing, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, stated that the agency has initiated a nationwide operation to remove the drug, commonly referred to as “Baban Aisha,” and urgeds to refrain from its use. Prof. Adeyeye disclosed that Sacra Herb, whose license expired in 2019, was originally approved for the management of piles and associated pains. However, the company exceeded its limits by prescribing the medicine for the treatment of waist pains, typhoid, ulcer, pile, and toilet infections.
According to Prof. Adeyeye, in 2018, Sacra Multi-Links Ltd applied for the registration of Sacra Herbs Oral Liquid. After complying with regulatory protocols, NAFDAC granted listing approval with registration number A7-2590L for the drug’s management of piles and associated pains. The registration notification was issued on September 6, 2018, and was valid until September 12, 2019. The company subsequently applied for a license renewal on August 12, 2020, but failed to address non-conformities observed during a regulatory audit of its production facility.
Prof. Adeyeye emphasized that the lapses were not corrected, leading to the non-renewal of the product registration license. Responding to reports and concerns raised about the drug’s activities following an investigative report by an online media organization, NAFDAC’s Investigation and Enforcement Directorate conducted surveillance, resulting in the sealing of the factory and the arrest of two staff members complicit in the illegal act.
The Managing Director of Sacra Multi-Links, Alhaji Salisu Sani, voluntarily reported to NAFDAC’s I&E office in Kaduna, where his vehicle was searched and various herbal drugs were found, including Sacra Herbs Oral Liquid, Baban Aisha Man Power, and Delay and Cure Powder Kai Kadai Gayya, which were unregistered. All the products confiscated from the Managing Director and the company were sent to NAFDAC’s laboratory for analysis.
Furthermore, Prof. Adeyeye revealed that NAFDAC’s Investigation and Enforcement Directorate recently conducted a crackdown on distributors of certain herbal medicines, prompted by intelligence reports indicating their prevalence mainly in the northern part of the country. Investigations uncovered that the herbal snuff, wrongly packaged and misrepresented as a snuff for the market, was actually manufactured in Ghana and approved for use as an analgesic by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) of Ghana.
The NAFDAC Director General expressed concern over the widespread use of these dangerous preparations across different demographics, including young boys and girls, men and married women, as well as drivers and artisans. The herbal snuff, commonly known as “Shake” or “Angoro” herbal powder, is marketed under various street names such as AK 47, Moringa, Black Coffee (Dan Kano), Magic powder, Lufthansa, and Desert Warrior. These products contain pyridine, a toxic alkaloid found in some plants of the Nicotiana species, including the tobacco plant. Pyridine can be highly addictive and is associated with serious health consequences such as increased risks of cancer, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.
Prof. Adeyeye emphasized that the successful investigation into Sacra Herbs (Baban Aisha), Hajiya Aisha special snuff AK 47, and other herbal medicines highlights the need for a collective effort in the eradication of fake and counterfeit drugs, adulterated processed foods, and other regulated products. NAFDAC calls upon every well-meaning to join in this holistic battle.
As NAFDAC intensifies its crackdown on illegal manufacturers and distributors, the agency remains committed to safeguarding public health and ensuring the availability of safe and effective medicines and food products across Nigeria.