The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have commended the Federal Government for banning the production and importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough syrup preparations.
NSCDC’s Spokesman in Jigawa, Adamu Shehu, gave the commendation during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Dutse on Sunday.
He said the measure would go a long way in reducing the rate of crimes, pointing out that most of drug addicts engaged in one crime or the other.
Shehu said: “Honestly, this is a welcome development because codeine is being abused by youths who are supposed to be our future leaders.
‘‘So, we are glad that the government has finally done something about it.”
However, the spokesman advised the Federal Government to also regulate the sale of rubber solution popularly known as “Sholisho”.
Shehu noted that if rubber solution was left uncontrolled, it could serve as immediate alternative to those abusing the codeine syrup.
He said: “Rubber solution is also seriously being abused by the youth.
“In fact, I think it can even be more damaging than codeine because it is a kind of gum made for vulcanizers to patch tubes for motorcycles and cars, but it ended up being abused by our youths.
“Unlike the codeine which under normal circumstances is not supposed to be sold to anyone without doctor’s prescriptions, the rubber solution can be bought anywhere in the market.
“And whenever you arrest a suspect in connection to its abuse, he will tell you that he bought it from a trader in the market.
“And even if you arrest the trader for selling it to the suspect and take to court for trial, it will be hard for such trader to be prosecuted.
“This is because you will not have substantial evidence against the dealers since it is
sold without prescriptions like other medicines.
“So, he will depend himself by saying that he sells it to a vulcanizer, and you cannot differentiate who is or who is not a vulcanizer by mere appearance.”
According to him, to stop the codeine addicts from alternating with the rubber solution, the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, regulate the sales of the rubber solution.
He, therefore, urged members of the public to support the Federal Government’s effort to secure lives and property.
Shehu also appealed to the people to furnish security agencies with credible information that would assist in tackling rampant abuse of illicit drugs in the country.
He said: “The abuse of psychotropic substances and cough syrup is a worrisome development which security agencies are grappling with.
“Hence, the need for all, including the traditional rulers, religious groups and community-based organisations to join hands with the Federal Government in fighting the menace throughout the country.”