FG to pay over N1bn compensation to codeine manufacturing companies

The federal government says it will spend over N1 billion to compensate manufacturers of codeine-containing cough syrup who had their products seized or withdrawn from circulation.

Moji Adeyeye, director-general, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said this in Lagos

The government had in May 2017 prohibited the production and importation of codeine and tramadol in the country following a BBC documentary exposing the abuse of codeine-based cough syrup.

Some companies were also closed down for illegally producing and distribution of the products but were later reopened.

According to Adeyeye, over two million bottles of codeine were seized from companies across the country in a bid to curb the use of the syrup by youth to get high.

She explained that some companies where the products were recalled from were producing legally and not guilty of any wrongdoing, hence the move by the government to reimburse them.

“It is about a year ago when the documentary about codeine was made which led to the Ministry of Health banning the product,” Adeyeye said.

“Since that time, we have been having a series of meeting with many government agencies and committees such as National Security Adviser group, the Presidency and the Ministry of Health.

“The final point is that we recalled about 2.5 million bottles of codeine and then put them on hold. This is sad because some companies did not commit the crime.

“So we put all the codeine on hold including the powder that they are using to the syrup. It will cost about N1 billion plus to reimburse these manufacturers,” she added.