Business Hilights
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Nigeria, Ghana gradually becoming stimulant drugs heaven for youths

India, China and other Asian economies are quietly becoming a source of concern for populous nations of Africa including Nigeria and Ghana following the surging inflow of seductive and cracking drugs from Asia.

Just as the Tincan Port Customs Command on Tuesday reported that it has handed over a 40 feet container load of drugs falsely declared as auto spare parts to the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration Commission (NAFDAC), on Monday, the Ghana  Food and Drugs Authority (GFDA) said it had seized 524,191 capsules and 3,001 vials of Tramadol over the past eleven months.

Vial is a small glass or plastic vessel or bottle, often used to store medication as liquids, powders or capsules.

The Customs Area Controller of Tincan Island Port Command in Lagos, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar revealed that the 40ft container with number MRKU 519445/3 contains cartons of Spectradol (Tramadol) Capsules of various milligrams, Spectra-Doxycycline Capsules of various milligrams as well as Jinart Tablets.

Other drugs seized include Clarinthromycin Tablets of five hundred milligrams and Jincold-Extra Strength Capsules of various milligrams. The products were falsely declared as motor spare parts

Giving insights on the negative effect of the drugs on the teeming Nigerian Youths, Bashar stated that the products are highly regulated and Nigerian Youths consume them illegally at an alarming proportion to the extent that it more often than not lead them into committing despicable acts that will certainly have far reaching negative implications on their health in particular and the Nation at large.

While linking the observed frequency of drugs seizures in recent times to the impending election year, the Customs boss argued that it portends evil for the Nation as the election year is drawing near and consumption of drugs like these by the youths would push them into reprehensible and deplorable acts.

The Comptroller disclosed the identity of the Importer as Jin Spectra Pharmaceutical Limited of No. 3 Festing Road, Kano also said that the Clearing Agency is Febeaco Nigeria Limited of 29, Apapa/Oshodi Expressway, Ibafon, Apapa- Lagos, expressed utmost confidence in the officials of the Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) whom he hinted would effectively complete the investigation and bring the Importers to book, by using the address and the information provided.

Receiving the consignment on behalf of the chairman of NDLEA, the commander Tincan Island Port, Mr, Nse Jack commended the Customs Area Controller for his consistent commitment to the concept of Inter-Agency collaboration and synergy over time.

The Head of Ghanaian Tobacco and Substance Abuse Department at FDA, Mrs. Olivia Boateng, explained at the on-going six day training programme in Pharmaceutical Crime, Intelligence Gathering and Investigations in Accra that about 85 per cent of the seized drugs were manufactured in Indian whilst 13.5 per cent had no manufacturer details on them.

In her submission, she revealed that the drugs were seized following swoops carried out by the FDA and other security agencies in three markets in Northern, Volta and Western Regions.

Further investigations in populated axis of Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and parts of Lagos by Business Hilights showed that the uses of the seductive drugs including Tramadol and Cough Syrups with Codeine by youths are getting out of hand.

Parts of the reasons for their rampant usage by youths include their cheap prices and accessibility along the streets and in Chemist shops or in many cases, local drug peddlers.