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Lagos Assembly raises alarm over fake COVID-19, vaccines, drugs sale

By Idowu Abdullahi,

Lawmakers at the Lagos State House of Assembly have raised alarm over the prevalence of importation of uncertified coronavirus vaccines and drugs being put up for sale by some unscrupulous persons across the state.

They argued that the recent rise in the advertisement of different vaccines and drugs said to be effective in treating the deadly pandemic was worrisome, saying such illegal practice portend dangers for Lagos residents.

The lawmakers maintained that the unwholesome and illegal sales of supposed drugs for COVID-19 pose dangers to unsuspecting Lagosians that may resort to self-care for fear of stigmatization by purchasing fake drugs and vaccines from faceless marketers and companies.

The House Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, said that it was imperative for relevant agencies to act, monitor, and regulate activities around the sales and use of the drugs so as to discourage a free-for-all that could lead to severe complications.

Obasa, who presided over the plenary sitting on Monday, directed the acting chairman of the House committee on health, Hakeem Shokunle, to have further discussions with the executive arm in relation to a bill on COVID-19 that had been passed months ago by the Assembly.

On his part, Shokunle who represents Oshodi/Isolo 1, had raised the motion on the floor of the House and lamented that some Nigerians were taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation in the state to sell various unrelated drugs to the unsuspecting public.

While noting the danger in such illegal action, Shokunle urged the House to revisit the bill on COVID-19 which the House had passed and was awaiting Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s assent.

He said that an amendment of the bill would allow the executive arm of the state government to work maximally in its efforts to combat the pandemic.

In his contribution, the lawmaker representing Eti Osa 2, Gbolahan Yishawu, lamented the rate of people bringing vaccines into the country, added that there should be a way to regulate the importation of such drugs as well as their sales, especially as the virus comes with different variants.

“The House already has a bill and all that is required is a recall of the bill for the purpose of amending it to cover the sales and distribution of related drugs,’’ he said.

On his part, the lawmaker representing Ifako Ijaiye 1, Temitope Adewale, admitted that though COVID-19 was ravaging the world and affecting the state, there was danger in self-medication or administration of drugs that are not regulated or approved.

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