Fruit sellers who use carbide to ripen fruits would soon see the red eyes of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as the commission is set to clamp down on perpetrators.
Prof. Moji Adeyeye, Director General of NAFDAC said it is ready to wield the big stick in tackling the menace. Adeyeye explained this during a media sensitisation workshop organised by the agency on the dangers of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with carbide in Lagos.
Adeyeye, who was represented by Director, of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, said, “Most of the drugs sold by hawkers are counterfeit, substandard and often expired and do not meet the requirements of regulated medicine.
“Drug hawkers prescribe medicines to their gullible patients. They are also major distributors of narcotics medicines to armed bandits, armed robbers, insurgents and kidnappers. They constitute a serious threat to our national security,” she said, adding that any drug hawker arrested by NAFDAC would be prosecuted and be made to face a jail term.
“We solicit the support of other law enforcement agencies in ridding the country of this harmful and shameful practice. The war is on and we must fight it together,” she said. Adeyeye further said that the agency would continue to engage the media in tackling the ripening of fruits with carbide.
She said consumption of fruits preserved with carbide is hazardous to health and could cause cancer, kidney, liver failure, or weakness of the immune system.
Similarly, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, Director, Public Affairs, NAFDAC, said drugs are sensitive life-saving commodities, that should not be sold on the streets/ motor parks or open markets but should be handled with care.