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27 Mar 2018

NDLEA seizes N159m tablets of Tramadol

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday said it had seized 159 million tablets of Tramadol at Apapa Port in Lagos.

The Director, Technical Services of the agency, Femi Oloruntoba, made this known at a public hearing organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health in Abuja.

Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever used to treat or moderate severe pain.

Oloruntoba revealed that 50 tonnes of Tramadol was recently destroyed in Kano alone.

He said there were laws guiding the use of controlled drugs like Tramadol and Cocaine and what was needed was enforcement of the laws.

“In 2016, about 31 different substances were abused in Nigeria,” he said.

The director noted that the drug was on the exclusive legislative list and should not be taken to the concurrent, adding that if that was done, there would be a huge anarchy.

He lamented that only the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to try drug cases, describing it as “a challenge”.

He said because the cases could not be prosecuted in the magistrate court, most of the time, the Federal High Court was choked over too many cases.

The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Christiana Adeyeye, said the agency lacked adequate manpower for frequent visitation to pharmaceutical companies.

Represented by Dr. Umar Musa, Director, Narcotics and Controlled Substances, Adeyeye said drug problem was a genuine crisis that required collective efforts to tackle.

Chairman of the Senate Committee, Sen. Joshua Lidani, said the use of illicit drugs, trafficking and other pharmaceutical drugs abuse, particularly among women and youth, were worrisome and on the increase by the day.

Lidani said: “This calls for concern and urgent action to stem the tide.

“It behooves stakeholders to strengthen and redouble our efforts to tame it and where possible, strengthen the capacity of agencies charged with the responsibility of enforcing relevant laws to enable them discharge their responsibilities effectively.”

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