By praise necherem
The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, who disclosed this at the flag-off of NAFDAC-Young Against Drug Abuse (YADA) Awareness Campaign and stakeholders’ meeting yesterday in Onitsha, said the tramadol were concealed in five bags of garri.
Adeyeye, represented by the state Coordinator, Mrs Christiana Esenwah, said the agency was yet to effect any arrest in connection with the seizure.
She said, “The tramadol was loosed from the cartons and scattered in the garri bags. The trader ran away and abandoned the garri on sighting the inspectors of the agency.”
Delivering a paper titled, “Abuse of Psychoactive Drugs in Nigeria: Our Problem” the NAFDAC boss expressed concern over the increasing spate of drug abuse, especially in North-Western part of the country.
“It is estimated that 70 per cent of the boys in Kano are on drugs while a lot of young girls and women of childbearing age abuse drugs in order to overcome frustrations. The fight against drug abuse was a fight for all sectors of the community, teachers, religious centers, drug manufacturers, importers and government,” she said.
Adeyeye further revealed that over 86 containers of tramadol and other unregistered pharmaceutical products injurious to health have been confiscated by the agency since the decision by President Mohammadu Buhari to return NAFDAC to ports and borders.
“In May 2018, we destroyed 25 containers of tramadol worth N1, 708, 750, 000,” she added.
Reiterating the call for the passage of Drug Safety Bills to ensure stiffer penalties against drug peddlers, Adeyeye urged the federal government to reverse the decays of failed governments and provide treatment and rehabilitation centres to addicts.
Adeyeye also noted that the agency was using the Young Pharmaceutical Group (YPG) to curb the spread of drug abuse in the country.
On his part, the state YADA Project Coordinator, Mr Onyeka Obidiegwu, explained that YADA is a school-based sensitization programme targeted at sensitizing students on the dangers of drug abuse and misuse.
“We are targeting the transition points in secondary education at which young adults are prone to drug abuse, especially at the JSS1, SS1 and SS3 classes. These are stages our children are exposed to drug abuse and other social vices.
“Research suggests that with proper education, children are more empowered to tackle drug abuse or misuse,” Obidiegwu said.