Nigeria’s Federal Government has outlined plans to partner with China and India in a bid to put a stop to the continued shipment of banned drugs from the Asian countries, with growing concerns at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) that Tramadol with higher prescription strengths are marked for export to Nigeria from South East Asia.
This was made known by the NAFDAC Director General, Professor Mojisola Christiana Adeyeye, during the flag off of a Youth Against Drug Abuse (YADA) Awareness Campaign organized by NAFDAC) and Yung Pharmacists Group. According to her, “NAFDAC is assiduously working with governments of South East Asia to stop drugs that can destroy our youths to leave their shores.”
Adeyeye expressed worry over the fact that Tramadol, with higher prescription strengths of 120, 225 and 500 mg and marked “For Exports Only”, are being shipped to Nigeria from China and India. “These strengths are not allowed in these countries, but they don’t see any problem in exporting them to our country,” she told her audience, which included the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osibanjo and the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi and hundreds of youth groups and organisations.
The NAFDAC Director General further disclosed that since May 2018, when her agency returned to the ports and borders, it had seized over N200 billion worth of Tramadol and other unregistered drugs. She charged the National Assembly to help rid the society of the menace of drug abuse by supporting the Drug Safety Bill which, seeks to impose stiffer penalties on drug peddlers.
Adeyeye also tasked the Judiciary to stand up against drug abuse given to the fact that addiction to drugs had touched most families in Nigeria. She went on to advise importers of dangerous drugs to desist from their nefarious act while charging government inspection and enforcing agencies to realise that the fight against drugs abuse is a fight for the future of Nigeria.
Can NAFDAC make headway in the fight against the abuse of Tramadol and other drugs?