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Health Alert: NAFDAC seeks security agencies’ support against drug hawking, carbide for ripening fruits

*The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control solicits the support of Nigerian law enforcement agencies against illegal hawking of drugs and use of carbide to ripen fruits, to safeguard the health of consumers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For constituting “serious threat to national security”,  the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has solicited the support of the Nigerian law enforcement agencies against illegal hawking of drugs and use of carbide to ripen fruits.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, made the call at the South-East Zone Media Sensitisation on ‘Dangers of Drugs Hawking and Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide’ Tuesday, August 8, 2023, in Awka, Anambra State capital.

Adeyeye, represented at the forum by Dr. Leonard Omopariola, Director of Chemical and Evaluation Research, said that drug hawkers constituted serious threat to national security, agency report noted.

The NAFDAC Chief explained the ripening of fruits with carbides is another public health challenge as the consumption of such fruits is dangerous to the health of consumers.

The health regulatory agency stated: “NAFDAC has noticed the dangerous practice of sale and consumption of fruits artificially ripened with calcium carbide as well as illegal hawking of drugs in the open market.

“There are concerns on the looming danger and health implication of these two nefarious activities by certain unpatriotic and unscrupulous citizens.”

Adeyeye further said: “The agency is taking stringent regulatory actions to stem these dangerous tide in the country and we cannot do it alone.

“We solicit the cooperation and support of all other law enforcement agencies, media and well-meaning Nigerians in riding the country of this harmful and shameful practice.”

She warned that any illegal drug hawkers the NAFDAC officials arrest would be prosecuted.

According to Adeyeye, no offender will be spared from facing the full wrath of the law in the West African country.

Mr. Onyishi Ogbonna, Anambra State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency , in his presentation at the forum in Awka, assured of support for NAFDAC in the fight against drug hawking in the state, and Nigeria as a whole.

Ogbonna stated: “We heard that hawkers are also the major distributors and suppliers of narcotic medicines to criminal networks such as armed bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and armed robbers.

“We want to pledge our support with NAFDAC in this crusade to sanitise our society.”


Strategic importance of the media in war against illegal drug hawking, others

In his remarks, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, Director of Public Affairs at NAFDAC, said the media establishments are important tools in the campaign against the menace of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with carbides in the country.

Jimoh said: “People die needlessly because of lack of knowledge and ignorance. We urge the media to join us in this crusade to conscientise and educate the Nigerians.

“It is a moral burden on all of us. We need to take the campaign to the nooks and crannies of the country to win the war against these two hydra-headed public health menaces.”

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