The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye has lamented the large-scale importation of drugs through Onne Port, Tincan Island Port and all the land borders despite the fact that they are not approved as entry points for pharmaceuticals into the country.
Adeyeye who spoke in Benin yesterday at a one-day symposium held at the University of Benin noted that the concealment and importation of illicit pharmaceuticals into the country remains complicated and posed a serious challenge for effective control at the national, regional and international levels.
Speaking on the topic: “The Problem of Drugs/Substance Abuse in Nigeria”, the NAFDAC boss said that the agency has been able to seize a large amount of the drug destined for illicit markets from the Onne Port.
Represented by the Edo State coordinator of NAFDAC, Pharm. Mrs. Esther Itua, she said that the success was possible because of the improved cooperation and information sharing among regulatory and enforcement agencies.
According to him, Nigeria is one of the countries in the world with the highest use of Tramadol relative to its population, adding that from the January and June 2018 data provided by NAFDAC’s Ports Inspection Directorate, 9 times 40′ containers were intercepted at the Apapa Port all containing unregulated 200/225mg Tramadol capsules.
“Available information has shown Nigeria as one of the countries in the world with the highest use of Tramadol relative to its population.
“From the January and June 2018 data provided by NAFDAC’s Ports Inspection Directorate, 9 times 40′ containers were intercepted at the Apapa Port all containing unregulated 200/225mg Tramadol capsules.
“At the Onne Port, 9 times 40 containers containing similar formulations were also intercepted and handed over to NAFDAC by the Nigeria Customs Service.
“In another development, in May 2018, the Nigeria Customs Service at the SAHCOL Shed of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, intercepted 180 cartons of Tramadol 225mg. The consignment has since been handed over to NDLEA,” she said.
The NAFDAC boss said as result of the adverse effects Tramadol has on the consumers, the government is actively and currently working with various MDAs to mitigate the abuse of drugs in the country.
She noted that if all the stated approaches are implemented, the nation and its youth can be spared from the current nightmare.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Faraday Orumwense who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Pius Irihogbe explained that there is an urgent need to address drug abuse in campuses adding that “life is all about human beings and their existence.
He said: “The more we come together to exchange ideas, break new grounds on a campaign against this life-threatening menace, the better we shall be.”