THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it had confiscated some tramadol (225mg) worth N12.5 million in Onitsha, Anambra, concealed in five bags of garri.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye made the disclosure at the inauguration of NAFDAC-Young Against Drug Abuse (YADA) Awareness Campaign and stakeholders meeting in Onitsha on Wednesday.
Adeyeye, represented by Mrs Christiana Esenwah, the state Coordinator of NAFDAC, however, said that no arrest was made along with the seizure.
She said the tramadol was loosed from the cartons and scattered in the garri bags, noting that on sighting the inspectors of the agency, the trader ran away and abandoned the garri.
Adeyeye, who spoke on the topic: “Abuse of Psychoactive Drugs in Nigeria: Our Problem”, expressed concern over the increasing spate of drug abuse, especially in North-Western part of the country.
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“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 to overcome frustrations,” she said.
She said the fight against drug abuse was a fight for all sectors of the community, teachers, religious centres, drug manufacturers, importers and government.
According to her, since the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to return NAFDAC to ports and borders, the agency has confiscated 86 containers of tramadol and other unregistered pharmaceutical products, injurious to public health.
“In May 2018, we destroyed 25 containers of tramadol worth N1, 708, 750, 000.”
Adeyeye renewed the call for the passage of Drug Safety Bill to ensure stiffer penalty against drug peddlers.
She urged the Federal Government to provide treatment and rehabilitation centres for drug addicts.
Adeyeye noted that the agency was using the Young Pharmaceutical Group (YPG) to curb the spread of drug abuse in the country.
Mr Onyeka Obidiegwu, the state YADA Project Coordinator, explained that YADA was a school-based programme, targeted at sensitising 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.
The project coordinator said that nine schools were selected for the campaign in the state, adding that Anambra, Osun, Delta, Adamawa, Kano and Lagos were the six pilot states for the one-year project.
“YADA is making a deliberate effort to educate the young ones against the use of substances like cannabis, cocaine, marijuana and tramadol; that these substances can alter their future and dreams.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the project is funded by NAFDAC and implemented by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Young Pharmacists Group (PYNYPG).
More than 50 students from various schools, as well as representatives of the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCD) and PYNYPG, among others, attended the event.