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Drug Hawkers Constitute Serious Threats To National Security – NAFDAC



The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Wednesday declared war on drug hawkers in the country, stating that they encourage criminal activities with their illicit business.

According to the Director General of NAFDC, Prof Christianah Adeyeye, who spoke during a sensitisation workshop in Lagos on Dangers of Drug Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Carbide, the agency will prosecute any hawker arrested by its operatives.

Adeyeye, who was represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation & Research, Dr Leonard Omokpariola, said the agency’s enforcement officers are currently carrying out synchronised nationwide operation, adding that no offender will be spared from facing the full wrath of the Law.

Represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation & Research, Dr Leonard Omokpariola, she explained that the menace of drug hawking poses a serious challenge to Healthcare Delivery System, hence the need to totally eradicate the illicit trade.

She stressed that the 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 into poisons thus endangering human lives.

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Additionally, she said drug hawkers are also the major distributors and suppliers of narcotic medicines to criminal networks such as Armed Bandits, Insurgents, Kidnappers and Armed Robbers and constitute a serious threat to national security.

She said, “Most of the drugs sold by the hawkers are counterfeit, substandard or expired, and do not meet the quality, safety and efficacy requirement of regulated medicines. Prescription drugs are also sold by itinerant hawkers who also hold consultations, and recommend and prescribe medicines to their gullible patients.”

Adeyeye who also raised the alarm about the indiscriminate ripening of fruits with calcium carbides by many fruit sellers in Nigeria, added that the Agency has deployed a multifaceted approach to tackle the menace.

“Fruits provide the body with micronutrients that improve immunity and prevent diseases among other benefits. However, the consumption of fruits such as mango, banana, plantain, guava, orange, grape, etc or any other fruits ripened with calcium carbide is dangerous to health.

“You can identify such artificially ripened fruits if you notice that the fruits are all yellow whereas the stem is dark, this is true especially with banana and plantain. In addition, naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots, while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly.”

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