The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), in collaboration with the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), has destroyed 260,000 litres of codeine-containing syrup.
Lagos Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat said there was a need to destroy the drugs as it was being abused by youths of the state.
Mr Hamzat disclosed this during the inspection and demonstration of LASEPA’s Mini Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) in Ikeja. He was represented by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello.
The deputy governor said that the ETP would help discourage environmental pollution and ensure healthy living.
He said that the collaboration between LASEPA and NAFDAC was a good initiative toward ridding 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 ETP was put in place by the state government for the destruction of expired, adulterated, hazardous products, among others.
Mr Hamzat said that the decision to choose LASEPA’s disposable plant to carry out the exercise was deliberate, as the agency was versatile at ensuring the safety of the environment.
The General Manager of LASEPA, Dolapo Fasawe, called on manufacturing companies to get functional ETPs for the proper discharge of their hazardous chemicals.
Ms 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 plants 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, Director-General, NAFDAC, 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 its effects.
Ms Adeyeye said that NAFDAC had called for the immediate regulation of the production of the syrup and the directive resulted in the recovery of over two and a 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’s ETP suitable for the proper destruction of the products.
She said that the decision was made to ensure that the products were safely destroyed, without constituting a hazard to the environment.