Inadequate opoid for the treatment of serious pain and lack of access to narcotic drugs for the management of similar conditions have remained a major health concern especially people suffering from these health conditions.
The Acting Director General of National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs. Yetunde Oni expressed this concern at the presentation and dissemination of the 2015 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) at NAFDAC corporate headquarters in Abuja.
She noted that under the National Drug Control Master Plan, provisions have been made to decentralize the distribution of narcotic drugs by the establishment of zonal drug distribution centres in the six geo-political zones to enhance access to these drugs for licit purposes.
Speaking further, Mrs. Oni said the Agency is conscious of the persistent and emerging challenges regarding drug problem in Nigeria and is working assiduously with relevant stakeholders, National Authorities and international organizations to address this challenge.
Particularly, she noted that the National Drug Control master plan developed under the auspices of EU-Funded NGAV16 project implemented by UNODC has provided a robust framework for drug control and given the National Authorities a window for closer collaboration and co-ordination.
This collaboration according to her is what the Agency has adopted in monitoring of legitimate trade in precussors, using the Pre-Export Notification Online (PEN Online), an initiative of INCB.
Delivering a keynote address at the event, Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Abdallah (Rtd) said some cases of diversion of imported precursor chemicals have been detected by his agency leading to arrest of some culprits, stating that, the discovery and dismantling of 10 clandestine laboratories in Lagos and Anambra states by NDLEA between 2011-2015 attests to the illegal diversion of these products.
He regretted the upward trend in the use of Tramadol over the years which has led to significant seizures of the drug and arrest of suspects involved.
Reviewing the report, the Country Representative of United Nations Office on Drug and Crime UNODC, Ms. Cristina Albertin said the 2015 Annual Report focuses on the health and welfare of mankind: challenges and opportunities for international control of drugs.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on March 5, 2016.