The Federal Government has announced the successful recall of 2,405,724 million bottles of codeine-containing cough syrup after a recent audit trail of the substance
Fred Ezeh and Samuel Bello, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced the successful recall of 2,405,724 million bottles of codeine-containing cough syrup after a recent audit trail of the substance carried out by National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The drugs were recovered from 20 out of the 23 (87 per cent) of manufacturers and are being warehoused in the respective companies.
It was in demonstration of its resolve to control the consumption and abuse of the syrup and other related substances.
An international media organisation had in May, aired a documentary that highlighted the level of abuse of codeine-containing cough syrup and its effects on the lives of the abusers.
The report generated global reaction, thus, forcing Nigerian government to place an outright ban on the sale of the drugs without prescription from a qualified medical personnel.
However, a statement released in Abuja yesterday by the Federal Ministry of Health indicated that the Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, confirmed the figure in a report of a committee set up to address the menace.
Meanwhile, several years after most of the country’s textile industries went moribund, the Federal Government may have concluded plans to resuscitate the sector by supplying cotton raw materials to all industries across the country.
Acting Director General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Alex Akpan, who disclosed this to newsmen during a press briefing in Abuja, said Genetically Modified (GM) cotton seeds have been distributed to no fewer than 1,000 large scale farmers across the country.
Akpan also explained that the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Materials, at its 26th meeting in Ibadan, had approved the official registration of 2Bt Cotton varieties known as MRC 7377 BG 11 and MRC7361 BG11.
“All textile mills have collapsed and there is no room to produce cotton. But presently, we have given 1,000 GM cottons to farmers after it had undergone thorough verification by the Biosafety agency,” he said.
When asked if 1,000 GM cottons shared to farmers was not too small, Akpan said the cotton seeds were given to large scale farmers who can employ between 150-500 workers, adding that, “this was just the beginning and government is committed to increasing it soon.
He said, “it is just for a start and understand that 1,000 farmers are large scale not small scale farmers. It is given to the major farmers who can employ 100 to 500 staff not those who are down the line. I think it is a good number to start with because it will be handled by massive industrial farmers who are fully mechanised and understand the process and, if there is need to increase the numbers, we will.
“Once you have an adequate environment, you can farm all-year crop because it is a perennial crop; it will be growing massively. The benefits are enormous including job and wealth creation, and boosting the economy, among other things.”