Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye, on Tuesday, said from the information available, Nigeria is one of the countries in the world with the highest use of Tramadol relative to its population.
She made the assertion at a one-day symposium held at the University of Benin, Edo State.
Prof. Adeyeye while speaking on the topic: “The Problem of Drugs/Substance Abuse in Nigeria”, said in Nigeria as in many African and Middle East countries, there are signs of expansion of the market for the drug adding that from the January and June 2018 data provided by NAFDAC’s Ports Inspection Directorate, 9 times 40′ containers were intercepted at the Apapa Port all containing unregulated 200/225mg Tramadol capsules.
“Available information has shown Nigeria as one of the countries in the world with highest use of Tramadol relative to our population.
In Nigeria as in many African and middle East countries there are signs of expansion of the market for Tramadol.
“From the January and June 2018 data provided by NAFDAC’s Ports Inspection Directorate, 9 times 40′ containers were intercepted at the Apapa Port all containing unregulated 200/225mg Tramadol capsules.
“At the Onne Port, 9 times 40 containers containing similar formulations were also intercepted and handed over to NAFDAC by the Nigeria Customs Service.
“In another development, in May 2018, the Nigeria Customs Service at the SAHCOL Shed of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, intercepted 180 cartons of Tramadol 225mg. The consignment has since been handed over to NDLEA”, she said.
The DG, represented by the Edo State coordinator of NAFDAC, Pharm. Mrs. Esther Itua hinted further that despite the fact that the Onne Port, Tincan Island Port and all the land borders are not approved as entry points for pharmaceuticals into the country, there have been reports of clearance of drugs through these unapproved entry points.
Adeyeye reiterated that the concealment and importation of illicit pharmaceuticals into the country remains complicated and poses a serious challenge for effective control at the national, regional and international levels.
She said NAFDAC has been able to seize large amount of the drug destined for illicit markets from the Onne Port adding that the success was possible because of the improved cooperation and information sharing among regulatory and enforcement agencies.
The NAFDAC boss said as result of the adverse effects Tramadol has on the consumers, the government is actively and currently working with various MDAs to mitigate the abuse of drugs in the country.
She noted that if all the stated approaches are implemented, the nation and its youth can be spared from the current nightmare.
On the part of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Faraday Orumwense who was represented by the DVC Prof. Pius Irihogbe, he said there is urgent need to address drug abuse in campuses adding that “life is all about human beings and their existence.
According to him, “the more we come together to exchange ideas, break new grounds on a campaign against this life threatening menace , the better we shall be.”