The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has described drug hawkers across the country as merchants of death, saying they expose essential and life-saving medicines to inclement weather.
Speaking on Wednesday at the flag-off of the NAFDAC media sensitisation workshop to the dangers of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with carbide in Lagos, the Director General,NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said inclement weather degrades the active ingredients in medicines, turning them to poisons, thus, endangering human lives.
According to her, drug hawkers are also the major distributors and suppliers of narcotics to criminal networks, including bandits, insurgents, kidnappers, and armed robbers.
Adeyeye, who was represented by the Director, Chemical and Research, NAFDAC, Dr Leonard Omokpariola, said, “Drug hawkers constitute a serious threat to our national security. Drugs are sensitive life-saving commodities that should not be sold on the streets, motor parks or open markets just like any other articles of trade.
“I wish to warn you that any drug hawker arrested by NAFDAC will be prosecuted, and will face a jail term, and our enforcement officers are currently carrying out synchronised nation-wide operations. No offender will be spared from facing the full wrath of the law.
“In this regard, we solicit the cooperation and support of all other law enforcement agencies, Nigerian journalists and well-meaning Nigerians in ridding the country of this harmful and shameful practice.”
She also faulted the ripening of fruits with carbides, saying it was another public challenge the agency was battling.