22nd December, 2021
Mr Shina Gbadebo explaining the process of the destruction of the codeine syrup to the dignitaries. L-R: Perm. Sec. Office of the Environmental Services, Mrs Belinda Odeleye, Chairman, Lagos Assembly Committee on Environment, Mr Rotimi Abiru, Commissioner, Environment & Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, DG NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, and GM LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe during the inspection of the Effluent Treatment Plant in Ikeja.
By Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) in collaboration with National Agency For Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has destroyed 260,000 litres of codeine containing syrup.
Speaking during the inspection and demonstration of LASEPA’s Mini Effluent Treatment Plant ( ETP) in Ikeja, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that the exercise was to discourage environmental pollution and ensure healthy living.
Represented by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, Hamzat said that there was the need to destroy the drug because of the effect of the misuse by the youths.
He said that the collaboration between LASEPA and NAFDAC was a good initiative toward riding the environment of hazardous products.
According to him, the synergy will go a long way in reducing the rate of consumption of codeine containing syrup among the youth which is on the increase in Nigeria.
He said that the LASEPA’s Effluent Treatment Plant was put in place by the state government for the destruction of expired, adulterated, hazardous products, among others.
The deputy governor said that the decision to choose LASEPA disposable plant to carry out the exercise was deliberate, as the agency was versatile at ensuring safety of the environment.
The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, called on manufacturing companies to get functional Effluent Treatment Plants for proper discharge of their hazardous chemicals.
Fasawe said that the monitoring and enforcement officials from the agency would continue to monitor the process and method of waste disposals by these companies.
She said that the agency had the right to sanction recalcitrant environmental offenders and protect the environment against all kinds of pollution ranging from water pollution, air pollution and sound pollution, among others.
The general manager, therefore, urged manufacturing companies to put in place such plant for proper discharge of their waste into ecosystem to avoid being sanctioned by the state government.
Speaking on the objectives of the collaboration, Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said that the decision to destroy the hazardous drugs was welcomed following mass consumption of codeine containing syrup by some Nigerian youths and the its effects.
Adeyeye said that NAFDAC had called for immediate regulation of the production of the syrup and the directive resulted in the recovery of over two and half million bottles of codeine containing syrup from across the country.
She said that after several deliberations on how to destroy the bottles of codeine syrup, NAFDAC found LASEPA Effluent Treatment Plant suitable for the proper destruction of the products.
Adeyeye said that the decision was made to ensure that the products were safely destroyed, without constituting hazard to the environment, as LASEPA had the technical competence and capacity to undertake the destruction effectively. (NAN)