The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye, has lamented that officials of the agency are often denied access at the nation’s ports unless invited by men of the Customs.
Adeyeye stated this on Wednesday while speaking on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, aired on Channels Television.
“I found out NAFDAC is not allowed to be at the ports unless we are invited by the Customs,” she said. “To me that is very wrong. Over the last three months, we have intercepted about 33 containers of Tramadol.”
The NAFDAC boss was speaking on the prevailing cases of drug abuse in the country, especially the consumption of Codeine among youths that make them wrestless.
She, however, reiterated the commitment of her agency in addressing the situation described by many as worrisome.
To Adeyeye, “Some were packaged as building materials but those containers were the ones we were able to intercept.
“They were intercepted at the ports – Tincan Island, Apapa and the Onne in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.”
Adeyeye, who is also a Professor of Pharmaceutics, regretted the addiction of hard drugs by most Nigerians, shortly after the Federal Government decided to clamp down on Codeine.
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, announced the ban in Abuja on Tuesday, as contained in a press statement by his Assistant Director of Information, Mr Olajide Oshundun.
In line with the decision, the Ministry of Health directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to stop further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations with immediate effect.
The minister said the directive became necessary due to the gross abuse codeine usage has been subjected to in the country.
Earlier, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced that Kano State was leading among states notable for abusing drugs with over two million users.
Codeine, a prescription pain medication used to treat mild or moderate pain is a drug which is abused by some youths in the state. It comes in tablet and syrup form and as the main ingredient in the prescription for cough suppressants.
Statistics by NDLEA said despite its efforts to stem the trend in the bud, two million bottles of codeine syrup and thousands of kilograms of narcotics are reportedly being consumed daily in Kano State.