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Codeine Ministry of health says FG’s ban not based on BBC documentary

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The ministry of health has said that the decision to ban codeine by the Federal Government is not based on a documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

On Monday, April 30, 2018, BBC Africa released an investigative documentary on codeine abuse in Nigeria.

The documentary, titled ‘Sweet Sweet Codeine’, delves into the underworld of codeine distribution and sale in Nigeria.

It also highlighted the effects of the drug on young women and men around the country.

According to the ministry’s spokesman, Olajide Oshundun a committee had already been put in place to investigate how to control the menace of codeine addiction.

Premium Times reports that the Committee on the Codeine Control Working and other related Matter Group (CCRWG) was set up by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, in January.

Oshundun also said that the ban of codeine on May 1 only coincided with the BBC documentary.

ALSO READ: How thousands of young Nigerians get their hands on codeine

He said “The body of the statement released by the ministry yesterday indicated that a working committee had been constituted by the government and they submitted an interim report.

“The memorandum was submitted on April 30 and it was due to that the minister took the step to ban codeine and that is why the statement was issued. It was only a coincidence that the government took action almost immediately after BBC’s broadcast.”

“The government did not take action due to the report.

“The action was done as a result of the memorandum,” he added.

The BBC documentary, again sparked the conversation on codeine abuse in Nigeria, giving rise to a lot of reactions on social media.

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