The Narcotics and Controlled Substances (NCS) Directorate of NAFDAC is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria fulfils its obligations under the relevant international conventions: The United Nations Single Convention on Narcotics and Controlled Substances(1961), The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971), The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988). The purpose is to ensure that narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances are used for medical and scientific purposes only and prevent their diversion. The products that fall within the scope of the Directorate include Bulk and Finished Narcotics, Psychotropic Substances/ Drugs and Precursor chemicals. These medicines include opioids that are used for the relief of pain especially for patients suffering from conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Cancer and Sickle Cell Anaemia etc. To ensure regulatory control the Directorate:
Grants import authorizations for the importation of bulk and finished narcotics for medical and scientific use; Issues permits to import and clear for precursor chemicals, psychotropic substances and other controlled drugs; Collaborates with the Federal Ministry of Health, NDLEA and other stakeholders on drug demand reduction; Undertakes monitoring and inspection of importers, marketers and end users facilities to ensure proper handling, storage and utilisation of controlled drugs, substances to prevent diversion and illegitimate use; Investigates importation of controlled drugs when alerts are received; Serves as a secretariat for the Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome processed Foods.
At present we are actively spearheading efforts to ensure that access to identified drugs of abuse such as codeine containing cough syrups are only available for medical use. The directorate is also collaborating with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime on programs related to drug demand reduction. In addition we give nationwide preventive lectures on drug abuse/misuse to various sectors of the society. Strategies towards the achievement of our goals include sustained staff capacity building, increase in activities geared towards reduction of drug demand, conducting workshops for intending importers/marketers to ensure compliance with procedures for issuance of permits in addition tostrengthening local and international collaboration. Stakeholders are advised to study our guidelines and apply early for permits to ensure smooth processing and swift issuance. The use of Narcotics Drugs, Psychotropic substances and other controlled products is essential for the management of pain and other health conditions. The Narcotics and Controlled Substances Directorate ensures proper regulation of the handling, storage and utilization of these products to ensure they are not diverted to illicit use, while ensuring that genuine end users have access.