The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Tuesday, destroyed 5,000 litres of expired codeine cough syrup seized during various operations in Lagos.
This came as Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, stressed the need for collaboration from both the private and public sectors in the war against illicit drugs in Lagos, in particular, and Nigeria in general.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mijisola Adeyeye and Hamzat, represented by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, witnessed the destruction of the expired cough syrups seized by the agency at the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) headquarters Alausa, Ikeja, during the official inspection and demonstration of the agency’s mini- effluent treatment plant (ETP) used in the destruction of expired codeine.
Adeyeye, who commended Lagos state government for putting up a standard ETP to mitigate against pollution of the environment, said the 250,000 litres was just part of over 2 million litres of codeine syrups seized from various operations by the agency.
According to her: “I wish we all recall that about three and half years (31/2) years ago that Nigeria suddenly found herself faced with scourge of abuse of codeine containing syrups by some of our youths. This abuse was as a result of consumption of codeine containing syrup against off the label use of the syrups.
“NAFDAC, as a responsible called for recall of the syrup and the exercise resulted in mopping up over two and a half million bottles of codeine containing syrup from all over Nigeria by the Agency’s Pharmacovigilance and Post-Marketing Surveillance Directorate.
“These were kept on hold at the respective pharmaceutical companies. After some settlement with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), the codeine-containing syrup from all over Nigeria by the Agency’s Pharmacovigilance and Post-Marketing Surveillance Directorate.
“The next big task is taking a decision on how best to destroy this product. Three Directors of NAFDAC were put on this assignment.
“I wish to express my profound appreciation to Lagos Government for making the facility available for NAFDAC to use for this critical national assignment.”
Speaking, Sanwo-Olu, stressed the need for more collaboration with federal government and private organisations if the menace of drug abuse must be eradicated or be brought to barest minimum.