• Senate worried about northern women’s drug addiction
• NAFDAC seeks inter-agency synergy to stop fake products
A Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced three dealers to five years imprisonment for unlawfully carrying 559 kilogrammes of marijuana. Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo found the convicts, Akiti Narteh, 33, Jelili Anu, 25 and Kunniji Damilola, 24 guilty of two-count charge of illicit drug deal and illegal transportation of the drugs.
During their arraignment, the prosecutor, Jerry Aernan, told the court that operatives of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested them on February 5, 2017, on Ikare Waterway, in Ojo Local Council Area of Lagos.
He said they were arrested while carrying the banned weeds in a one-fibre boat named “My Destiny.”The judge ordered that the sentence would start to count from the date of their arrest.Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday raised the alarm that women and youths in the north are getting addicted to codeine cough syrup and other narcotics.
Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai representing Borno Central senatorial district raised the motion, which was co-sponsored by 37 others.The motion was titled: “The need to check the rising menace of pharmaceutical drug abuse among youths especially in northern Nigeria.”
The lawmaker lamented that while cannabis and cocaine had been a long-term problem among the male youths, codeine cough syrup and other dangerous drugs had become, “the new cancer ravaging women and girls in the North.”
He condemned the daily consumption of codeine cough syrup, cannabis and cocaine among the women and youth in the north.According to him, some drug addicts in Jigawa and Kano states consume three to eight bottles of the drug on a daily basis.
Consequently, the Senate mandated its joint committees on drugs, narcotics and health to work out a legislative framework to combat the menace.The lawmaker explained that the abuses were not only common in the northwest, but had been complicated in the northeast, due to the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
A report by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said 2,205 suspects were arrested in 2015 in drug related cases.It was also reported that single and married working and unemployed women in the region, as well as young girls in the post-primary and tertiary institutions had resorted to daily consumption of codeine cough syrup.
Also, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has called for an effective utilisation of inter-agency collaboration to stop fake drugs in the country.
The NAFDAC Acting Director General, Ademola Magboguri, made the call at a stakeholders’ workshop organised in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He said the theme of the workshop: “The prevention, detection and response of substandard and falsified medical products,” was necessary to achieve the mandate of safeguarding public health.
According to him: “The public health implications of substandard and falsified medical products are dire, which include treatment failure, high treatment cost, development of resistance, loss of confidence in the healthcare providers and healthcare system and may ultimately result in fatality and death.”
Also, the WHO Project Manager, Quality Assurance and Safety, Medicines, Michael Deats, said they were in tune with the global surveillance and monitoring system (GSMS) to tackle the substandard medical products globally.