The Campaign for Democracy (CD) has criticized the Federal Government of Nigeria for the proposed ban on sales of drugs in open market in the country.
The Federal Government on recentlyannounced that from June 30, 2014, drugs would no longer be sold in the open market throughout the country.
Dede Uzor A. Uzor, Chairman, CD South-East, criticized the government move in a news conference held in Awka, Anambra State.
Uzor noted that the call was uncalled for since it would affect the health and livelihood of over 100, 000 drugs traders and importers as well as its economic multiplier effect which touches about 10 million Nigerians.
``About 85 per cent of drug traders and importers have had their drugs registered with relevant government agencies like NAFDAC and other related bodies. These bodies are closely monitoring the activities and movement of these drugs produced or imported by traders into the country. These drugs had been certified by various agencies”.
``The centres of State Mega Drug Distribution Centres (SMDDCs) have limited spaces and shops to cater for the drug and medication needs of the growing population of the country. Presently, the country also lacked adequate pharmaceutical man-power to man the proposed Federal Government system of distribution”.
``The drug markets in the country with over 100,000 drug traders and importers would be put out of business, which would compound the present unemployment challenge in the country. “It is also clear that the ratio of fake and sub-standard Drugs in the country had continued to drop from about 16 per cent 10 years ago to about 4 per cent presently; with traders and market unions collaborating with NAFDAC to further reduce the ratio,’’ the CD regional Chairman said.
The chairman blamed the Federal Government for the porosity of the country’s borders where he said smugglers have field day importing unchecked and adulterated drugs into the country.
``CD is calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Minister of Health for not having a clear vision and for incompetence in handling matters of serious economic and health concern. If tomorrow the SMDDCs go on strike, the whole country would be held to ransom,’’ Uzor emphasized.