The House of representatives has proposed a bill seeking a N2m fine and a jail term of two years for persons who contravene the ban placed on Tramadol and Codeine by the Federal Government .The bill sponsored by the Chairman, House Committee on Health Institutions, Mrs. Betty Apiafi,passed the second reading at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Apiafi spoke more on the bill as she led the debate. “In Nigeria, between January and December 2015, a total of 1,044 patients were admitted for treatment in the 11 treatment centres that are currently part of the Nigeria Epidemiological Network of Drug Use Reporting System.
“in the report, 28.3 per cent of the patients had an opiate addiction and the opiates were mainly prescription medicine; Tramadol (71 per cent as the first most frequently used substance and specified); Codeine, (15.1 per cent); and Pentazocine (9.9 per cent); while Heroine and Morphine represented only 3.3 per cent of the opiates declared,” Apiafi said.
“Since 2015, Codeine has nearly overtaken Tramadol as the most abused opiate in Nigeria.
“Thousands of young people in Nigeria are addicted to Codeine cough syrup, a medicine that has become a street drug.
“Three million bottles are drunk every day in Nigeria’s north alone, according to a recent Nigerian government report.” .
The bill passed second reading in a unanimous voice vote at the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.