Senate calls for full compliance over ban on codeine

The Senate on Wednesday called on its committees on Drugs and Narcotics, and that of Heath to ensure full compliance with the ban on use of codeine in cough syrup announced by the Federal Government.

The government on Tuesday banned the production and importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough syrup preparations.

The ban was aimed at checking the abuse of the substance among Nigerians, especially the youths.

Wednesday’s resolution of the upper chamber was sequel to a point-of-order moved by Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan, at plenary.

Lawan said that “The senate debated and took resolutions on a motion specifically dealing with abuse of drugs, particularly codeine syrup in northern Nigeria and the country at large.

“The report was that between Jigawa and Kano states, over three million bottles of codeine are consumed on a daily basis. Seventy per cent of codeine that comes into Nigeria finds its way into Sambisa Forest. This tells us that we have Boko Haram elements who are using this.

“Today in Nigeria, there is hardly any one single family that does not have a drug addict of some sort. This is the most destructive phenomenon in Nigeria today,” he said.

Lawan who said that the senate had first introduced the debate in October last year, added that the ban had put the executive and legislature on a common ground.

He therefore urged the senate to direct the two committees to work with the Ministry of Health and National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure full compliance.

President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that the oversight roles of the committees became necessary because of the negative effects of codeine on the youth in the country.

“We must tackle the issue, this issue of drug abuse which particularly affects girls and women. It is a dangerous trend,” he said.

Saraki commended the Ministry of Health and NAFDAC on the ban, saying it was a good step that safeguard the health of Nigerians. (NAN)