The syrup, containing the highly addictive opioid, codeine, is used by young Nigerians to get high.
The company has promised a “full and thorough” internal investigation. Secret filming caught the Emzor executive boasting he could sell “one million cartons” in a week on the black market.
The Nigerian Senate estimates that as many as three million bottles of codeine syrup are drunk every single day in just two states of Kano and Jigawa.
But Emzor told the BBC its representative only had access to a very limited amount of its brand of syrup, Emzolyn with codeine, and could not sell large quantities illegally.
The medication is legal, but it is against the law to sell it to people without a doctor’s prescription or those who do not have a pharmaceutical licence.
According to the BBC, Emzor has now released a statement on Facebook, announcing the suspension and emphasising its commitment to the proper “handling, production, storing and distribution of products containing codeine”.
“We hope the findings of the documentary will shed further light on the extent and impact of the illicit trade and consumption of codeine,” the statement said. “We hope that full stakeholder engagement will result in impactful action against the abuse, smuggling and faking of drugs on the continent.”