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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has seized about 35 containers of imported tramadol, a recently banned medical substance at various ports in the country.
The Director General of the agency, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, who made the disclosure in Abuja on Sunday, said nine out of the seized containers of tramadol were released to NAFDAC by the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS)and had been destroyed.
“We are seriously working with the custom on this and each time they seize any container, they usually invite us to come and see the containers with tramadol. So far, 35 containers were seized and only nine of them have been handed over to NAFDAC which we have destroyed,” she said.
She, however, decried the delay by the custom in handing over the rest of the containers to her agency.
The NAFDAC boss stated that tramadol was a restricted drug but had been abused by Nigerian youths who use it without prescription.
According to Adeyeye, who is also a professor of pharmacology, the drug destroys children’s brain thereby threatening the future generation of the nation. She lauded the present administration for placing an embargo on codeine, which she said, like tramadol, should only be given only by prescription as done in advanced country.
The director general said the agency was more determined and committed than ever to stem the menace of illicit and fake drugs in the country.
Meanwhile, the NAFDAC boss has disclosed that the agency had cleared backlog of 6,000 applications for registration of products within six months.
Adeyeye, who took over as substantive director general of NAFDAC in November 2017, said the applications are mostly from water and food companies.
“During my advocacy visit to stakeholders, I was questioned by our clients on the delay in registration of their products. Some of them told me that their applications had been with NAFDAC for two years and nothing was done.
“I took up that challenge and gave a directive for the applications to be cleared within a stipulated time. I gave the directive that by April, all applications on water installations and food and other companies’ registration should be cleared.
“We gave guidelines and deadline for the customers to meet and then involved other directorates in the agency to get it done,’’ she explained.
According to her, under normal circumstances, the procedure for water or food registration takes 60 days while drugs registration takes about 120 days because of tests that are carried out.
Adeyeye added that to meet the service delivery aspect of the agency, a Quality Management System was introduced “for the benefit of our end users”.
“All my directors and other members of staff are now more efficient and effective than ever to ensure safety of Nigerians especially in what they consume,’’ she said. (NAN)