FGN gets NAFDAC more involved in the fight against drug abuse

NAFDAC returns to borders and seaports

The Federal Government of Nigeria has toughened the campaign against drug abuse and importation of unregulated products by returning NAFDAC to the seaports and land borders.

According to the agency, this is to effectively control importation of unregulated products, falsified and substandard drugs, unwholesome foods, narcotic drugs and hazardous chemical substances and foods into the country.

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NAFDAC said it received the notice on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in a letter dated 29th March, 2018 from the office of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as part of the PEBEC reforms.

The agency disclosed this in a statement signed on Thursday by its Director General, Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye, said thousands of Nigerians have died because of falsified and substandard medicines.

It also noted that the development became even more necessary following a recently released documentary on codeine abuse.

The statement read: “Many are currently ill, most likely due to unwholesome foods, drugs and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances, such as codeine, tramadol, pentazocine, etc. These are partly due to exclusion of NAFDAC from our ports since 2011. The recent documentary on codeine abuse brought more attention to the issue”.

The agency is collaborating with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) and with the active support of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), and Ministry of Transport.

“Our Agency will work with the Nigerian Customs Service, The Shippers Council and other sister agencies in ensuring that foods, drugs, chemicals and other NAFDAC regulated products that pose danger to our population are controlled at the point of entry.

“NAFDAC at the ports will ensure that dangerous drugs or substances of abuse, many times falsely shipped as building materials, electrical appliances, computer accessories, etc. will be intercepted at the point of entry,” the statement noted.

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The agency expressed gratitude to the Office of the NSA, the Chemical Society of Nigeria, The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), among other key stakeholders for recognizing it as a key player in the national security architecture.

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