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BUHARI: Nigeria-Benin border closed, so as to curb rice smuggling

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Buhari to CBN: Don’t give Kobo for food, fertilizer imports

…Immigration Service warns migrants that, non-compliance with e-registration may attract sanctions***

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday indicated that the exercise, code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’, which culminated into a partial closure of Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic, was undertaken, to curb the massive smuggling activities, especially of rice, taking place on that corridor.

The restriction at Seme border followed the joint border security exercise ordered by the government, in a bid towards securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.

The exercise was therefore being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Buhari explained the rationale, during an audience granted his Beninois counterpart, Patrice Talon, on the margins of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD7), in Yokohama, Japan on Wednesday.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said President Buhari expressed great concern over the smuggling of rice.

The president said the activities of the smugglers threatened the self-sufficiency already attained due to his administration’s agricultural policies.

“Now that our people in the rural areas are going back to their farms, and the country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves.

“We cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue,” he said.

The Nigerian President said the limited closure of the country’s western border was to allow Nigeria’s security forces develop a strategy on how to stem the dangerous trend and its wider ramifications.

Responding to the concerns raised by President Talon on the magnitude of suffering caused by the closure, President Buhari said he had taken note and would reconsider reopening it, in the not too distant future.

He however, disclosed that a meeting with his counterparts from Benin and Niger Republics would soon be called to determine strict and comprehensive measures to curtail the level of smuggling across their borders.

Earlier, President Talon had called on the Nigerian President as a result of the severe impact the closure of the Nigerian border was having on his people.

President Buhari also received in audience, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa during which issues of common bilateral relations especially, the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, were discussed.

“The matter will be further examined during the Nigerian leader’s official visit to Pretoria in Oct. 2019,’’ Adesina stated.

In the meantime, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned that non-compliance by migrants, with the Federal Government’s e-registration directive may attract sanctions after 90 days.

Mrs Caroline Ngere, the Deputy Controller of Immigration (DCI), African Affairs of NIS based in Ikoyi, Lagos, stated this on Wednesday in Lagos.

Also read:  Oil well Inferno: Lawmakers direct Chevron to clean up affected areas

 Ngere who maintained that no migrant was exempted from the exercise, stressed that the government had granted a 90-day amnesty to the migrants starting from July 12.

“The amnesty covers migrants without regular papers that have been residing in the country from the stipulated date,” she said, explaining that part of the objectives of the exercise was to equip the government with ample statistics of migrants in the country for proper planning and budgeting.

“All the captures will enable the Federal Government to earmark funds substantially for social amenities like schools, hospitals, roads, electricity.

“NIS expects all migrants to take advantage of this beneficial gesture from the Federal Government and present themselves for registration,” she said.

Ngere said that although the government was yet to disclose the specific sanction for non-compliance, it would be advisable for migrants to comply with the directive.

“After all, Nigerians are complying with the Federal Government’s directive on compulsory registration with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

“Why will migrants have issues with e- registration?’’ she said.

 

 

 

Health and Safety

NAFDAC NATIONAL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN: Partners With Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Stakeholders

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…On Prevention, Detection, And Response To Substandard And Falsified Medicine

The NAFDAC has Vowed to close down the sale and distribution outlets Facilitating the Spread of Fake Drugs, as It stresses it’s determination to combat the incidence of Substandard and Falsified (SF) medicines in the country,

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC has subsequently engaged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical products supply chain in its resolve to put an end to the menace and effectively safeguard the health of Nigerians.

The Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, at a stakeholders meeting organized by NAFDAC on Thursday, emphasized the need to explore how to combat the sale and distribution of Substandard and Falsified Medical Products within the supply chain, insisting that the Agency would not hesitate to clamp down on wholesale and retail outlets where fake drugs are dispensed for public use.

According to her, the engagement with Pharma supply chain stakeholders in Nigeria serves as a means of thinking together and putting in place a position that will represent or guide collective efforts and strategy to prevent, detect, and respond to substandard and falsified medicinal products, adding that the goal is to ensure that medical products in circulation are of the quality standard required and safe for public use. 

The NAFDAC boss noted that the high prevalence of SF in Africa is a major threat to public health, attributing this to the fact that regulation in the region is limited with about 10% of African National Regulatory Agencies NRAs having achieved ML3. 

L-R: Director, Laboratory Services (Drugs) National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Victor Abiola, Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director Post-Marketing Surveillance, NAFDAC, Dr. Fraden Bitrus Dasniyam, and Director Narcotics and Controlled Substances, Mrs Yedunni Adenuga, during the Agency’s engagement with the pharma supply chain stakeholders for input on the National Strategic Document on Substandard and Falsified Products in Lagos…on Thursday

Prof Adeyeye noted with dismay that this allows for poorly regulated manufacturers to supply their products in Africa where technologies to detect SF and track/trace are limited. 

She added that the menace of substandard and falsified medical products threatens access to safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines, undermining health systems and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage globally.

With the mandate to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale, and use of drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, medical devices, and packaged water generally referred to as Regulated Products, she noted that this puts a burden on the Agency to lead the fight against SF medical products in Nigeria and support efforts that will see a reduction in the prevalence of SF medical products both locally manufactured and imported. 

The DG explained that NAFDAC is not the only regulatory agency in terms of substandard falsified medicines, adding that the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) probably has more to do in the fight against fake drugs. 

She, however, relished a cordial relationship that exists between the two sister agencies, insisting that we must do this fight together. 

Prof Adeyeye explained that currently, NAFDAC is doing its best to fight this issue of Substandard and Falsified products, stating that the fight against Substandard/Falsified medical products is based on three broad thematic areas Prevent, Detect, and Respond (PDR). 

She said that NAFDAC operatives are not just going on the streets to look for substandard falsified medicines but also going after products that have been approved in Southeast Asia en route to Nigeria. 

She reiterated that 70 percent of medicines used in Nigeria come from outside which necessitated the establishment of a Pre-shipment testing scheme that has stopped over 124 products that were approved from coming into the Nigerian market. 

According to her, some of the SF medicines do not have content, some will not disintegrate, and some will not dissolve. In contrast, some of them have wrong labelling and all sorts of non-compliance, adding that the Agency is dealing with that now with the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

Prof Adeyeye further disclosed that most of the products stopped from coming into the Nigerian market have fake certificates of pharmaceutical products. Noting that it takes two to tango, Prof. Adeyeye opined that its not just India bringing substandard falsified medicines to us, it is us; Nigerians that connive with them to bring in cheap products at the detriment of lives in Nigeria. 

Furthermore, She disclosed that over 124 shipments have been stopped, adding that these are products that had been approved, that could have been in circulation in Nigeria for five years. 

So, if ten containers per year for one particular product or two containers per year should find their way into Nigeria, you can figure out what the consequences might be.

The NAFDAC boss, however, announced the berth of a new regulatory directive with emphasis on the source of raw materials used in the production process. For those that are registering new products, she said they must procure raw materials from approved sources like WHO Prequalified sources, FDA, or other stringent Regulatory Authorities. 

If you don’t source from a prequalified source, we will not register the product, she said. 

She, however, dispelled the news going around, over the alleged proliferation of fake drugs in the country, saying the proliferation news that has been going on is false. 

There is no proliferation of substandard medicines. We do a national survey, sampling of products using scientific methods from different parts of the country., she said, adding that the survey was done in 

2021 and 2022 for ant-malaria with a 10 percent prevalence level. 

We couldn’t do it in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. She explained further, If you live very close to the border where people come in and out the prevalence may be higher there. Thats statistics. 

The average is about 10%, she said, insisting that proliferation is not synonymous with shortage because the two words are now used together. The fact that we have a shortage of medicines does not mean there is a proliferation of substandard falsified medicines.

 The survey for 2023 is not ready yet. We will publish 2021 and 2022.

She noted that the Pharmaceutical Supply chain plays a vital role in ensuring that safe, quality, and efficacious medicines reach the end users, adding that there is therefore a need to foster complementary partnerships that will seek to identify lapses in the supply chain system to improve the chances of winning the war on substandard and falsified medical products in Nigeria. 

We have formal and informal markets. Do not buy medicines from the informal market. We do a lot of raids in Oke- Arin, Idumota markets Lagos, Onitsha head bridge where you can buy a product maybe 50 per cent or 80 per cent cheaper because of low quality, she added, the state of the economy shouldn’t be an excuse for people to buy poison under the guise of cheap products.

I enjoin you to sustain your support to NAFDAC to ensure that only safe, efficacious, and quality medicines are used in Nigeria. NAFDAC, as the regulatory agency is seeking the support of all stakeholders in the pharma industry and supply chain system to improve our chances of winning the war on SF medical products.

The Supply chain stakeholders made very useful contributions for input into the National Strategic document to guide our collective efforts towards combating the menace of the SF in the country.

The stakeholders present at the supply chain engagements include the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria ( PMG-MAN), Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria (ACPN), Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association of Nigeria (PWDAN), Nigerian Representatives of Overseas Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NIROPHARM), Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN), Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacist of Nigeria (AHAPN), Nigeria Army Medical corps, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), National of Veterinary Medical Association(NVMA). Others are different companies represented under PMG-MAN, APIN, PWDAN, and Niropharm.

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Health and Safety

Clean Naija Campaign: Showcasing The Impact Of Dr Moyinoluwa Oladoye

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…In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA)

Dr. Moyinoluwa Oladoye, a young visionary leader and healthcare social entrepreneur has radically influenced sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

 In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), he plays a leadership role as the Senior Programme Officer at SRHIN in a transformative initiative to improve the practice of handwashing, hygiene, and sanitation, to about 6 million Nigerians between 2019 and 2025. 

*Dr. Oladoye with representatives from Reckitt Nigeria and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA).

With over 5 years of experience as a public health professional, Dr Oladoye has played a pivotal role in the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program that has reached hundreds of schools, health facilities and communities across 3 states in Nigeria since 2019. 

The Dettol Quest Hygiene Program, provides hygiene kits, materials, and structured education, which has led to a notable improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours associated with sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

*Group photo with some of the project beneficiaries (students) at the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

The most recent rigorous impact assessment conducted in 2023 led by Dr Oladoye spanned through students, community members, and mothers/ pregnant women via pre-implementation (baseline) and post-implementation (endline) surveys. The results showed remarkable improvement in the knowledge, attitude and practice of the project’s beneficiaries.

Following former President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for the Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 Order, Dr Oladoye is one of Nigeria’s leading Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advocates whose projects on WASH have been presented at several state and national stakeholders meetings on WASH.

*Dr. Oladoye during the impact assessment presentation at the closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

This includes the recent closeout event that held in Lagos, drawing a distinguished gathering of stakeholders, including Reckitt Nigeria, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), the Federal Ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and other pivotal figures in the fields of public health and education.

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NDLEA Arrests 92 Suspects, Seizes 217kg Illicit Substances In Kaduna

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NDLEA arrests India-bound businessman with 9.40kg heroin in Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Command, has arrested 92 suspects and seized 217.02kg of illicit substances since the beginning of 2024.

The state Commander of NDLEA, Mr Samaila Danmalam, disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Kaduna.

According to him,  the suspects comprise 88 males and four females.

He added that the seized substances included Indian hemp, cocaine, heroin, tramadol and methamphetamine.

The commander said that NDLEA operatives raided 19 illicit drugs in the state during the period.

He said that the command secured the conviction of 24 suspects and charged  25 to court during the period.

“ln its drug demand reduction efforts, 29 drug users were counselled while seven drug addicts were successfully rehabilitated.

“In a bid to dissuade members of the public from illicit drug use and trafficking, enlightenment campaigns were carried out at various locations targeting 6,956 participants.

The commander called on members of the public to provide useful and timely information to the command, saying the fight against drug abuse and trafficking requires the support of all Nigerians.

  • NAN
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