Drug war in Imo: NDLEA accuses pharmaceutical companies of complicity
Following the reported upsurge in substance abuse in Imo state, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has further averred that pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria have become the loose end in the fight against illicit drugs.
According to the Commander of Narcotics in the Imo state command of the agency, Chinyere Kalu Olugu, “Pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria have become a leakage and sore point in the struggle to make Nigeria an illicit drug-free country through drug supply reduction process and initiatives.
“The Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) has not been effective in self-regulation and supervision of the operational activities and strict enforcement of professional ethics among members.
‘‘For instance, controlled drugs and other pharmaceuticals are being produced or imported into the country by pharmaceutical companies in overdoses and unauthorized grams. Tramadol, for example, is approved and regulated to be produced strictly at 50grams only, but these companies import from 150grams of Tramadol to as much as 450/500grams caplets of Tramadol which they put on sale in Nigeria.”
Beyond this, Olugu noted that there are secret and clandestine laboratories state and the South-East which are producing and flooding the market with illicit drugs.
She noted that the agency had tracked and shut down some of these laboratories while adding that there is still more to be done and the necessary collaborative capacities built.
Strategic partnership of the NDLEA with relevant agencies and professional bodies at this point in the drug war, is very vital.
“Drugs are all over Nigeria destroying our youths, let’s put an end to unilateral efforts in the field of drug control and come together to fight this war on all fronts”, Olugu stressed.