The National Agency for Drug and Food Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) has made a warning to drug hawkers while threatening imprisonment.
The Director General of NAFDAC Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye who was represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Dr. Patrick Omokpariola made this warning in Lagos.
Speaking at the event which was themed, “NAFDAC MEDIA SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON DANGERS OF DRUG HAWKING AND RIPENING OF FRUITS with CALCIUM CARBIDE,” Prof. Adeyeye warned that any drug hawker prosecuted by NAFDAC will face jail term.
She revealed that the Agency’s enforcement officers are currently carrying out synchronised nationwide operation to fish drug hawkers.
According to the DG, “Many drug hawkers are knowingly or unknowingly merchants of Death who expose essential and Life Saving Medicines to the vagaries of inclement weather which degrade the active ingredients of the medicine and turn them to poisons thus endangering human lives.
“There have been clarion calls by well-meaning Nigerians on the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide.
“However, several national dailies and non-governmental organisations have raised concerns on the looming danger and health implication of these two nefarious activities by certain unpatriotic and unscrupulous citizens in our country.
“Since 2019, we immediately took some decisive steps such as sensitisation of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in fruit markets that have resulted in seizures and destruction of violative products.
“The flag-off for this sensitisation workshop today is again a fulfilment of my promise to sustain and strengthen NAFDAC’s existing collaboration with Association of Health Journalists in Nigeria towards mobilising, educating, sensitising, and conscientising Nigerian Journalists to play frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide in Nigeria,” she declared.
Prof Adeyeye identified that NAFDAC has commissioned a scientific study on the best approach towards mitigating the health hazards posed by ripening of fruits with carbides.
“As I have mandated some of my directors and support staff to take these campaigns to the nooks and crannies of this country. We are confident of winning the war against these two hydra-headed public health menaces.
“It is, therefore, a great pleasure for me to declare open this Media Sensitization Workshop while urging you to assist NAFDAC in publicising and disseminating knowledge acquired to the general public,” The DG stated.
The DG went on further to make assurances of NAFDAC’s willingness to constantly engage the mass media as it strives to bring down to the grassroot level positive impacts of our regulatory activities.