In its efforts to discourage environmental pollution and ensure healthy living, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), in collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), has organised public destruction of hazardous drugs at the LASEPA office Alausa, Ikeja.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat described the collaboration between LASEPA and NAFDAC as a good initiative towards eradicating hazardous products in the country.
According to him, the synergy would go a long way in reducing the rate of consumption of codeine among the youths, noting that the consumption of codeine-containing syrup is on the increase in Nigeria.
Hamzat, who spoke through the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, explained that the LASEPA Effluent Treatment Plant was put in place by the State Government for the destruction of expired, adulterated and hazardous products among others, adding that the decision to choose LASEPA disposable plant to carry out the exercise was ideal.
The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe disclosed that the agency has the right to sanction recalcitrant environmental offenders and protect the environment against all kinds of contamination ranging from water, air and sound pollution.
She disclosed that manufacturing companies in the State have been charged to get a functional Effluent Treatment Plant for the proper discharge of their hazardous chemicals, adding that the Monitoring and Enforcement officials from the agency will continue to monitor the process and method of waste disposals by the companies.
Dr. Fasawe, therefore, urged manufacturing companies to put in place an Effluent Treatment Plant for the proper discharge of their waste into the ecosystem to avoid being sanctioned by the State Government.
Speaking on the objectives of the collaboration, the Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the decision to destroy hazardous drugs was a welcome development in view of the mass consumption of codeine-containing syrup by some Nigerian Youths and its negative effects.
Her words: “NAFDAC as a responsible agency of the State Government some time ago called for immediate regulation of production of syrup and the directive resulted in the recovery of over two and a half million bottles of codeine-containing syrup from all over the country by the Agency”.
She revealed that after several deliberations on how to destroy the two and half million bottles of codeine syrup, NAFDAC chose LASEPA Effluent Treatment Plant as most suitable for the proper destruction of the products.
Adeyeye said the decision was made to ensure the products are safely destroyed without constituting hazard to the environment, adding that LASEPA has technical competence and capacity to undertake the destruction effectively.