NAFDAC, LASG Destroy 5,000 Litres Of Expired Codeine Cough Syrup




The Nigerian Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control,  in collaboration with Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, destroyed at least 5,000 litres of expired codeine cough syrup seized during various operations.

This came as Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, stressed the need for collaboration from both the private and public sector in the war against illicit drugs in Lagos, in particular, and Nigeria in general.

Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mijisola Adeyeye and Hamzat, represented by Commissioner for the 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 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 a 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.

“The effects of this abuse became alarming as presented in the BBC documentary in April 2018. The Federal Government, through the directives of the Minister of Health, NAFDAC banned the codeine country syrup from the supply chain of the manufacturer warehouses, distributors, pharmacy outlets and drug stores.

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“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 syrups were moved to the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate Warehouse our secured warehouse at Oshodi Lagos.

“The next big task is taking a decision on how best to destroy this product. Three Directors of NAFDAC were put on this assignment.

“After a lot of deliberations by the Agency’s Management, NAFDAC rationally decided that LASEPA waste disposal facility will be used to destroy the product.

“We arrived at this decision because we wanted the product to be safely destroyed without constituting hazard to the environment.

“Also, we chose LASEPA because it has technical competence and capacity to undertake the destruction. More importantly The entire process will be transparent and we are aware that LASEPA will issue certificate of safe destruction at the end of the exercise.

“After series of meetings between the two agencies and scientific considerations, the procedures for safe and efficient destruction of the product were arrived at and agreed upon.

This included first deactivation of the collected syrup using caustic soda before transporting to LASEPA.

“The Agency worked out the logistic of transporting over two hundred and sixty thousand litres of syrup to LASEPA facilities in batches to cope with the capacity of the LASEPA plant.

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“Today I am delighted that we chose wisely by asking LASEPA to undertake the destruction exercise as the exercise progressed very well as planned and it is almost completed.

“I congratulate Lagos State Government for setting up this modern plant for safe treatment of liquid waste in Lagos.
I wish to express my profound appreciation to Lagos Government for making the facility available for NAFDAC to use for this critical national assignment.”

“Finally, I wish to thank the Managing Director, Dr. Fasawe, and the entire staff of LASEPA for the good work done and for its contribution to be part of our effort at safeguarding the health of the nation.”

Speaking, Sanwo-Olu, stressed the need for more collaboration with Federal Goverment and private organizations if the menace of drug abuse must be eradicated or be brought to barest minimum.

According to the governor: “This is all about the issue of state and federal governments’ collaboration.

“We need more of it. We must collaborate to sanitize the society because many of our youths are gradually been destroyed through drug abuse. We (Lagos) are ready to have more collaborations with relevant agencies and organizations to combat this menace.”

Earlier, Director General, LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, also,expressed readiness of the state government to collaborate with agencies and organisations in stemming the tide of drug abuse in the country.

Fasawe, while stressing on sanitization of the environment, said: “What we are advocating in Lagos is that any effluent being discharged into the environment by any company must be treated.

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“However, LASEPA discovered a worrisome development where most companies were discharging effluent to our environment without proper treatments due to lack of plants. Lagos State Goverment is committed and will not condone this hazardous act to her residents.”


Credit: Vanguard News

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