The federal government of Nigeria has indicated its determination to stop the sale of drugs in open markets in the country at the end of 2018.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this known on Saturday when he visited the site for the construction of a Pharmaceutical Coordinated Wholesale Centre at Oba, near Onitsha in Anambra.
According to him, the Federal Government had announced July 31, 2017 as the deadline to end the sale of drugs in open markets.
“May be people still believe that the Federal Government is joking, government does not joke.
“We do not want fake drugs or falsified labels; we just want genuine drugs and the only way to do so is centralizing the drug market so that we can determine what comes in and what goes out.
“We have agreed to extend the deadline till Dec. 31, 2018 and that will be the last extension. We are irrevocably committed.
“By Jan. 1, 2019, if you are not here at the coordinated centre, then you cannot be anywhere. I am saying it with all seriousness that this is the last extension,” he said.
He further lauded the Anambra Government for supporting the project, and urged the leadership of the drug market in the state to settle their disputes amicably.
The minister also commended the choice of location for the centre, and expressed hope that work on the project would commence immediately to meet the deadline.