The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has vowed to prosecute drug hawkers nationwide, saying such drugs are dangerous to the health.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known at the launch of NAFDAC Media Sensitisation Workshop On Dangers of Drug Hawking in Abuja on Tuesday.
Adeyeye also reiterated the agency’s readiness to increase surveillance on those using artificial methods in ripening of fruits, and to further prosecute them if caught.
She, however, solicited the cooperation of law enforcement agencies to help in the surveillance to rid the country of dangerous practices.
She said “several national dailies and organisations have raised concern about these dangerous practices — drug hawking and ripening of fruits with calcium carbide.
“This workshop is also a fulfilment of my promise to collaborate with the media to continue to raise awareness about bleaching creams.
“NAFDAC will constantly engage the media on regulatory activities.
“The menace of drug hawking poses serious challenge to the nation; drug hawkers are merchants of death who go around with drugs full of poison, prescribing to gullible patients.
“Drug hawkers are major distributors of narcotics. They constitute serious threat to national security. Any drug hawker arrested will be prosecuted, we want to put an end to the menace.”
The NAFDAC boss, who also decried the use of carbide to ripen fruits, said that the practice may have effect on the skin.
She added that “fruits ripen with chemicals may also make it to lose colour, taste and the natural aroma, and can cause serious health hazards such as kidney and liver failure.The director-general said the agency is confident in winning the war against the hydra-headed problem.