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FG: NAFDAC screening local cures for COVID-19 



local cures FG NAFDAC

FG: NAFDAC screening local cures for COVID-19

The Federal Government said yesterday it has evaluated claims by local researchers that they have manufactured curative drugs for COVID-19.

It explained that having met preliminary requirements, the drugs had been forwarded to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, for listing.

National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, had restated the federal government’s position on Wednesday that no cure had been found for the disease.

The government also expressed worries over the continued repatriation of Almajiriai by states, saying the development could fuel a spike in infections.

On compliance with general safety protocols put in place against the virus, the federal government asked security agencies not to cut corners, adding that they would only be tarnishing the image of their organization by doing that.

It also urged Nigerians to alert the authorities whenever they witnessed cases of infractions by security operatives enforcing the partial lockdown.

These were some of the points raised at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19 in Abuja, yesterday.

Local cure

Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, said local cure claims had now been forwarded to NAFDAC for listing, having met with preliminary requirements.

He said:  “For some time now, there have been claims of inventions and cures related to COVID-19. The PTF, as part of its mandate, remains supportive of and receptive to outcomes of the research.

‘’It, however, finds it imperative to reiterate its position on the need for such discoveries to undergo the scientific validation processes.

The PTF is aware that the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Federal Ministry of Health has been evaluating such claims and forwarded some that have met the preliminary requirements to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to carry out the necessary procedures for listing.’’

Low compliance The SGF also expressed displeasure at the continued non-compliance with safety measures put in place by the government. He said:  “Reports from various parts of the country at the close of day yesterday May 6, 2020(Wednesday)  indicate the following:  High level of non-compliance with the ban on inter-state travels.

This resulted in a high number of vehicles finding their way across many state borders, despite the curfew/ border restrictions.

‘’Lack of respect for timing and the curfew also resulted in heavy traffic gridlock where many motorists spent the night, following the enforcement of the curfew; “Increasing level of abuse of exemption granted to vehicles conveying specified goods.

Reports from across the country show that they continue to hide passengers with the intention of ferrying them across state boundaries.

“Continual transportation of Almajiris across state borders is still evident. I have highlighted the foregoing as it relates to the road transportation sector to underscore the dangers inherent in the seeding of the virus across states.

I, however, commend the security agencies for their vigilance in apprehending and prosecuting violators. It is, worrisome, however, to note reports received about isolated cases of compromise by some security operatives.

‘’We urge the various commands of the security agencies to enhance their monitoring machinery to ensure that we do not only achieve the objective of stopping the spread of the virus but also prevent the good name of the services from being tarnished.

“We also implore all Nigerians to alert the security agencies whenever they witness the violation of these guidelines.

Challenges in isolation centres

“The PTF has become aware of a number of challenges associated with management of the isolation centres. These have manifested in the form of protests over welfare, abscondment from centres and loud complaints based on the assumption by persons under observation, that drugs must be administered.

“The first two are unhealthy developments capable of undermining the containment measures and putting the lives of care managers and frontline workers at risk.

Similarly, persons in isolation are encouraged to follow the direction and instructions of the experts during their stay as treatment to be administered would largely depend on the evaluation of the doctor.

‘’We, however, urge all state governments to continue to pay attention to the welfare of people in isolation and for security agencies to provide adequate security around such facilities to prevent escape.” In his presentation, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said his ministry had just finished a meeting with the Ministry of Science and Technology which demonstrated impressive innovative capabilities to participate in finding solutions to problems of shortages.

“We are convinced that Nigeria has the potential to manufacture many of the commodities we currently import which are in high global demand and difficult to come by,” he added.

The ministry had earlier written to NAFDAC on the ‘formulation of a phytomedicine based cough mixture/syrup’ for the management of COVID-19.


Medicinal plants

In the letter, the ministry noted that Nigeria is blessed with medicinal plants which could be exploited and expressed happiness that its Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department, TCAM, has taken the pains to research into scientific materials to come up with a formulation intended for the management of cough in COVID-19 and other cough related infections.

The letter, signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, A.M Abdullahi read:  “This is to convey my compliments to you. As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is currently ravaging the world, with no definite treatment or vaccine.

‘’This has necessitated countries to look for solution from within and Nigeria is no exception. It is worthy to note that Nigeria is blessed with medicinal plants which could be exploited.

“It is heart-warming to note that the Department of TCAM has taken the pains to research into scientific materials to come up with a formulation intended for the management of cough in COVID-19 and other cough related infections.

“The formulation is Cov-herbal cough mixture. Interestingly, all the ingredients that make up the formulations are medicinal plants that are widely used as food materials and medicines. They include: Allium sativa (Garlic); Allium cepa (Onions); Zingiber officinale (Ginger); Piper guineense (West African Black Pepper); and Andasonia digitata (Baobab fruit). The innovation here is the composition of the formulation.

“These medicinal plants have documented scientific evidences of long use for the management of cough and other respiratory infections, with medicinal properties of mucolytic, antitussive, expectorant, soothing, demulcent, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects.

“The Ministry is determined to walk-the-talk in the promotion and integration of herbal medicine into the health care delivery system. In view of the foregoing and the desire of the Ministry to show case to the public a product that is 100% sourced locally, you are requested to carry out the necessary procedures for listing.

“The Ministry will contract the packaging of the product to some identified pharmaceutical companies. Find attached scientific evidences of the products and labelling for your information and necessary action.’’

On Kogi, the Health minister said a ministerial team, including officials of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, and Department of Hospital Services of the Ministry of Health were already in the state.

“They will ensure that the state has adequate testing capacity and shall also advocate the engagement of traditional rulers and community leaders in surveillance efforts of the state.

I appreciate the collaboration promised by His Excellency, the governor of Kogi. A similar team will also travel to Cross River State for the same purpose,” he stated.


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Customs Corner

COWA PTML Command Spreads Love to Orphans, Vulnerable Children



Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Customs Officers Wives Association (COWA) Port and Terminal Multi-Services Limited (PTML) has reached out to orphans and vulnerable children in the spirit of the season.

The women visited the Chosen Child Orphanage and Care Centre and So-Said Charity Homes, both in Ajegunle, Apapa, Lagos, on Tuesday, 13 February, 2024.

Donating cash gifts and household items to the children of both homes, the Chairperson, COWA PTML Chapter, Princess Ojoede stated that the gesture is one that is being carried out both at National and State level.

“Our National President, Mrs Kikelomo Adeniyi, has mandated us, as our core objectives to make sure that we carry out this outreach to the children, to empower them and to show them love and care”. She said.

“She is also happy that we are delivering and implementing her core mandates of putting smiles on the faces of children and doing this welfare program”.

She emphasized the importance of the outreach saying that, it is their burning desire that all children should live happily and be well taken care of.

“As COWA members, we care with humility, and we want to show that care and love to the children here so this is just a little minute pack of the achievement we want to deliver in Lagos, Zone A”. She said.

While Fielding questions from the women, the Coordinator of Chosen Child Orphanage and Care Centre, Mrs Loiusa Ayuba noted that the home is registered with the Lagos State Government and caters to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children.

“We want to take them further in life, not having a father or mother is no longer an excuse to deny any child the opportunity to have the priviledge that other children enjoy”. She said.

She expressed gratitude to the women for their visit and donations.

Similarly, the Admistrative officer, So-Said Charity Homes, Pauline Okoro, expressed deep appreciation to the women for their kind gesture towards the children, while also offering prayers for them.

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Customs Officers Thwart Illegal Elephant Tusks Export



Three Arrested in Joint Wildlife Protection Operation

Author: Lucy Nyambi.

Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, Special Wildlife Office and the Customs Police Unit, in an intelligence-led, joint enforcement operation with the Wildlife Justice Commission, have arrested 3 suspects for facilitating the illegal export of Wildlife to Asia.

The 3 illegal Wildlife Traders were arrested during the sale of 5 pieces of Elephant Tusk on the 25th of January 2024, the 4th and 6th of February 2024.

The items weighing 25.35kg are worth about 16,000 USD in the Country of destination, which is equivalent to N23,520,000.00.

According to the Officer in charge of the Nigeria Customs Services’ Special Wildlife Office, Assistant Comptroller Abimbola Isafiade, “trafficking of Wildlife is a criminal offence punishable under law, and so Nigeria Customs Service will continue to support the global effort to fight Wildlife crime.”

“This act contravenes the Endangered Species Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigeria Customs Service Act.” She emphasized.

AC Abimbola restated the Nigeria Customs Services’ commitment to leaving no stone unturned to end Illegal wildlife trade.

She assured that the Service is determined to dismantle the Wildlife criminal networks operating within the country.

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Customs Corner

Customs MMIA Holds Free CGC’s Medical Outreach to Mark International Customs Day



Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command, in partnership with Rotary Club District 9110, has held a free medical outreach as part of activities to mark International Customs Day (ICD).

The free medical outreach held at the Medical Centre, Nigeria Customs Training College Ikeja, Lagos, on Friday, January 26, 2024, during the ICD celebration.

While Inspecting the exercise, the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR commended the medical Officers’ support and the synergy during the outreach.

He expressed delight at the quality of service with the quantity of medication for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The CGC further expressed optimism for future partnership with the Rotary Club, saying, “We hope that this will not be a one-off thing; we will explore other areas where we can partner together.”

He also commended the Customs Area Controller, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command, Comptroller Charles Orbih, for the initiative.

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