Police, PCN, association partner to rid Nasarawa State of unlicensed drug dealers

Olukayode Babalola

 

Lafia   –     The Police Command in Nasarawa State with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and the Nigeria Association of Patent and Proprietary Medical Dealers (NAPPMED) has agreed to jointly rid the state of unlicensed drug dealers.

The parties reached the agreement in Lafia on Friday when PCN and NAPPMED members paid a courtesy visit to the Police Commissioner in Nasarawa State, Mr Mohammed Kura.

The delegation was led by Mr Vincent Mamah, Nasarawa State President of NAPPMED , and the State Officer of PCN, Mr Okpalaeke Nwora.

Kura said collaboration among the groups was long overdue because of the need to rid the state of unlicensed drug dealers, who distributed fake and substandard drugs to unsuspecting Nigerians.

“This arrangement is long overdue and I am very happy we will be working closely together.

“As far as I am concerned, the police need you just as you also need the police.

‘’So, let us work together to make our society safer, ‘’ he said.

Kura said to achieve success in ridding the state of unlicensed drug dealers, the police, PCN and NAPPMED must engage in constant intelligence sharing on activities of unlicensed dealers in order to bring them to justice.

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“We want to have intelligence reports from you so as to perform our duties and bring them (unlicensed dealers) to face justice.

“If you see any of them and have credible intelligence report of their activities, you need to inform us so that we can do the needful and safeguard innocent Nigerians,’’ he added.

Earlier, Mamah said the visit was for the groups to welcome Kura on as the new Commissioner of Police and seek new ways of fighting unlicensed drug dealers.

“We are here to associate ourselves with you because one way or the other, our work has to do with the police.

“Our job is to oversee the activities of those selling drugs and ensure that they follow the right steps and sell good quality drugs,’’ he said.

Mamah called for a stronger collaboration with the police to rid the state of unlicensed drug dealers.

He gave an assurance that the association would ensure that registered members of the association conformed to the law.

On his part, Nwora said PCN would step up efforts to fight illegal medicine vendors and unregistered drug dealers in Nasarawa State.

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He said the effort was aimed at ensuring improvement in the quality of drugs distributed in the state.

“As a government regulatory agency, PCN is concerned about the quality of care given to Nigerians by ensuring that the right things are done by the right people in the right places,’’ he said.

Nwora attributed successes in efforts to regulate activities of illegal medicine vendors to the strong partnership with the state government, security agencies and the traditional institutions.

He, however, decried the high rate of unregistered drug dealers in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and described the area as the ‘den of unregistered medicine charlatans’.

“We are calling for a closer working relationship with the police and other security agencies by providing security cover.

“We also believe that a lot of sensitisation is still needed to enlighten Nigerians on regulations concerning the drugs business,’’ Nwora said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that PCN has shut 254 illegal pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Nasarawa State in the last three years.

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