Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, has said the agency has finalised plans to enhance control of narcotics and psychotropic substances.
She disclosed that one of the control objectives of the agency is to ensure availability for medical and scientific uses while minimising the possibility of diversion to illicit channels and abuse
Speaking at the launch and dissemination of the 2019 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in Lagos, Adeyeye who was represented by Director, Narcotics and Controlled Substance, NAFDAC, Dr. Musa Umar said they would not relent on clamping down unlicensed retail facilities that serve as a medium for illicit drug distribution in Nigeria.
The NAFDAC boss said: “In other to ensure adequate availability of controlled medicines, the agency in conjunction with Federal Ministry of Health carried out a second quantification of narcotics and estimation of psychotropic substances and precursors in July 2019.
“The survey reports will enable Nigeria know its need-based estimates for controlled medicines and develop measures to enable the country to achieve that delicate balance between access and control.”
Adeyeye disclosed that the agency would continue to leverage on the synergy that exists between it and the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria to ensure effective monitoring and tracking of controlled substances in the distribution chain.
She continued: “As part of our collaborative efforts to ensure access to Schedule 1 Narcotics in the country, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, approved the decentralisation of the warehousing of narcotic drugs to the six geopolitical zones.
“Our policy also supports the local manufacture of selected narcotic medicines in order to reduce the cross-border trafficking of controlled medicines to fill supply gaps.”
Also, Country Representative, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, Harsheth Virk said the INCB report highlights the connection between the use of alcohol and tobacco and psychoactive substances by children and adolescents.
She urged the government to improve services using evidence-based prevention and intervention for young people.Virk highlighted the need for strict enforcement of regulations to limit access to medication with psychoactive qualities and reduce accessibility to tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis for children and adolescent.
Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Abdullah (rtd.) called for the effective inter-agency alliance to identify and dismantle unlicensed and illicit supply sources.