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Press Release On Containers Suspected To Carry Tramadol And Other Unregistered Pharmaceutical Products


November 17, 2018,

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has participated in joint examinations of containers at the Apapa Port, Lagos that were coordinated by the Nigeria Customs Service. Twenty – three (23) 40ft containers out of (86) 40ft containers on the Agency’s watch list since November 2017 were examined on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th November, 2018.  The 86 containers were suspected to contain Tramadol. The most recent of these containers are the thirty-eight containers that were loaded with Tramadol of high strength from India and twenty-eight (28) of them were successfully blocked.

This is an outcome of previous communications with the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service in September 2018 of containers suspected to be carrying Tramadol and other unregistered Pharmaceuticals as well as other NAFDAC regulated products. The twenty-three (23) 40ft containers examined so far were loaded with Tramadol of various strengths from 120mg to 250mg Tramadol and other unregistered Pharmaceutical Products that are known to be injurious to the health of the public, most importantly our youth.

Since then, the Port Inspections Directorate of NAFDAC has been tracking these containers with daily update on the progress.

We are pleased that the good working relationship with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the support received from all the commands of NCS and other government establishments along the West Coast of Africa contributed to the success recorded so far. This is greatly appreciated.

These examined containers consist of One hundred and twenty eight thousand, nine hundred and twenty two (128,922) cartons of high strength of Tramadol (120mg, 200mg, 225mg & 250mg) which was estimated at a total of Six billion, four hundred and forty six million and one hundred thousand Tablets (6,446,100,000). In addition, three hundred and twenty one thousand, one hundred and forty six (321,146) cartons of other unregistered Pharmaceutical Products. The worth of tramadol alone on the street is estimated to be at about One Hundred and ninety three billion, three hundred and eight three million Naira (N193,383,000,000.00) on an average cost of one million and five hundred thousand naira per carton (N1,500,000.00).

Prevention of these dangerous drugs from entering into the Nigerian markets would protect millions of youth from hazards of drug addiction which can pose threat to families, Nigerian workforce and the security of the nation at large. Of course this would have increased the number of casualties from insurgency, armed robbery and other social vices which are known to be the aftermath effect of use of illicit drugs.

This is to inform the public that the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service Col Hammed Ali (rtd.) will call for a Joint Press Conference that will involve all the relevant Agencies at the appropriate time.

NAFDAC in line with its mandate will work with all other relevant Agencies to ensure that Nigeria is not a market for unwholesome pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs.

In conclusion, NAFDAC is committed to ensuring that the health of the public is properly safeguarded at all times. We are Customer-focused and Agency-minded.

Prof. C. Moji Adeyeye, PhD., FAS, FPSN

Director General, NAFDAC

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