Last month, the Director Technical Services of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Femi Oloruntoba, disclosed that the agency had seized 158 million tablets of Tramadol at Apapa Port in Lagos.
Femi Oloruntoba made the disclosure at a public hearing organized by the Senate Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health following a motion on “The Need to Check the Rising Menace of Pharmaceutical Drugs Abuse among Youth in Nigeria”.
The Director further said that 50 tonnes of the Tramadol which is a narcotic-like pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain was recently destroyed in Kano alone. He restated the need for enforcement of the legislation guiding the use of controlled pharmaceutical drugs like Tramadol and cocaine.
Oloruntoba called for the increase in the number of judges in the Federal High Court to try cases of drug abuse.
In reaction, the president of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasai, called for the drafting of a prescription policy to curb the menace.
The NAFDAC Director-General, Christiana Adeyeye, said the agency lacked adequate manpower for frequent visitation to pharmaceutical companies while the Chairman of the Committee, Joshua Lidani stated that “…this calls for concern and urgent action to stem the tide. It behoves on stakeholders to strengthen and redouble our efforts to tame it, and where possible strengthen the capacity of agencies charged with the responsibility of enforcing the relevant laws to enable them discharge their responsibility effectively.”