Syrups with Codeine are considered a taboo in Nigeria. Bottles of cough medicine with that word must not been seen on any shelf. 

But science students, a popular name that drug abusers are called in Nigeria, are ever willing to pay high for any cough syrup bottle with the word codeine on it.  

It is usually not produced in Nigeria, but people who have facts about how much bottles with the word codeine people empty daily are still making attempts to bring them into Nigeria. 

On Friday, reports of how this drug banned because of its high abuse by young Nigerians enters Nigeria came in from the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The agency said it impounded a truckload of banned drugs in Lagos and syrups with codeine in them were part of the seized drugs. 

Professor Moji Adeyeye is the Director General of NAFDAC and he said officials of the agency intercepted the articulated truck carrying a 40ft. container with large quantity of suspected fake and adulterated medicines.

“After a joint examination by operatives of NAFDAC, Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Police Force, the following products were found in the intercepted truck:

“Barcadin with Codeine (cough syrup) – 588ctns x 200bottles x100ml and Feed Fine (Cyproheptadine caplet) – 44ctns x 24rolls x 10pks x 3blisters x10caplets.

“Others are Really Extra (Diclofenac sodium tab) – 190ctns x 100boxes x 10pkts x 1x10caplets and Afrodic (Diclofenac sodium cap) – 207ctns x 100boxes x 10pks x 1x10caplets,” the NAFDAC boss said in a statement," Professor Adeyeye said.

The NAFDAC DG said that, Mr Luke Mba, who accompanied the trailer and claimed to be the importer, was arrested along with the driver.

“Initial investigation suggests that the unregistered products were manufactured or imported from India into Nigeria through the Seme land border and allegedly heading for Onitsha, Anambra.

“The Agency has resolved to prosecute the suspect in this matter when the police hand him over to us.

“It is worthy of note that the Federal Government announced a ban on the production and import of cough syrup containing codeine after investigation into its addiction epidemic,” Adeyeye said.

She said that the Agency was tipped off by a concerned citizen that a truck conveying a 40ft container was transporting assorted suspected pharmaceutical products to an unknown destination.

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”Operatives of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC on Wednesday, mounted a six hour surveillance and intercepted the said trailer at Oshodi en route Mushin.

“Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Police Force came on the scene to lend a helping hand, the trailer was eventually moved to the Area D Police Command, Mushin,” she said.

She appealed to the public to report any incidence of counterfeiting and adulteration of foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemical and packaged water to NAFDAC for prompt regulatory and legal action.

Thw NAFDAC DG urged all Nigerians to continue supporting the agency in its quest to rid the society of substandard and fake drugs and food.

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