The National Agency for Food Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC) says it has evolved measures toward averting dangers associated with the use of pesticides and agrochemicals in Nigeria.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, made the disclosure on Tuesday during a Sensitisation Workshop for Agro-Input Dealers on Safe and Responsible Use of Pesticides and Agrochemicals in Ibadan.
News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the workshop was organised by NAFDAC in collaboration with stakeholders in Agrochemicals and Pesticides.
Adeyeye was represented by Dr. Sani Maiyaki, a Deputy Director in NAFDAC.
She said the agency had received several complaints, from concerned citizens on misuse, abuse, presence of counterfeit, substandard and fake pesticides in the country.
“Due to injudicious and indiscriminate use of some pesticides, many accidents have occurred in different parts of the country. The presence of pesticides in foods, fruits, vegetables, and the environment and its use as a suicide tool by youths and vulnerable persons is of great concern to NAFDAC.
“The agency, along with relevant stakeholders, is taking the initiative to ensure safe use of pesticides and agrochemicals in Nigeria through stakeholders’ awareness campaign and the institution of regulatory measures.
“This is with a view to effectively avert the dangers associated with injudicious and indiscriminate use of pesticides,” she said.
She said that the agency had in its disposition released a public statement on Dichlorvos which highlighted some regulatory measures.
Among the measures was an immediate ban on importation and manufacture of [100ml pack size of Dichlorvos(DDVP), a ban on the sale of DDVP in open market and supermarkets and mandatory listing of agrochemical dealers.
Other measures are a restriction on sales of Crop Protection Products (CCP) to NAFDAC approved/accredited agrochemical dealers,mop-up of DDVP 100ml from open markets and supermarkets by manufacturers, importers, and distributors.
The NAFDAC boss said that NAFDAC had developed a phase-out action plan to ban the manufacture, importation, sale, and use of Paraquat in Nigeria, based on its toxic and harmful effect on humans and the environment.
“The agency has also reviewed the use of Tallow Amine as inert material in the production of Glyphosate formulations. Tallow Amine that is available in various Glyphosate formulations have been implicated to be carcinogenic
“In line with the agency’s mandate of safeguarding the health of the nation, the agency thereby banned the use of Tallow Amine as inert material in the formulation of Glyphosate products with effect from Jan. 1, 2020,” she said.
Mr Kabir Umar-Fara, the President, West Agro Input Dealers Association (WAIDA), commended NAFDAC on its awareness campaign and recognition of relevant stakeholders.
The WAIDA president, who was represented by the National Secretary, Mr. Ayoola Isiaka, raised several observations ranging from association membership, professional certificate recognition, major importer competitors, listing pre-review and product testing before marketing.
He called for easing out of bureaucratic bottle-neck which he noted had suppressed the decentralisation of certificate signing dedicated to the NAFDAC Zonal Directors in each region.
“In Nigeria today, marketing of pesticides is not limited to agro-dealers, some major importers are competing with us, sending directly to the end-users, the farmers.
“Major importers and their staff that are not listed and are not qualified to market to end users in Nigeria. If only NAFDAC could intervene and stop agrochemical importers from taking over agro-dealers’ responsibility,” he said.
Also, Alhaji Olayinka Akinmade, the National Vice-President (WAIDA, South-West) commended the Federal government for establishing NAFDAC about 21 years ago.
“With the sensational exploits of our late Prof. Dora Akunyili to the several international and foreign feats of Dr. Paul Orhi and now our, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, NAFDAC has done very much. NAFDAC job requires a collaborative effort and the organisation can’t do it alone,“ he said.
He urged NAFDAC to see members of the association as being interested and ready to assist in what NAFDAC was doing to safeguarding the health of the nation.
“Health, they say, is wealth and when NAFDAC safeguards our health, then we will be able to have the strength to forge ahead and go on to expand the Nigerian economy and therefore get the nation to survive.”
The workshop was attended by officials of NAFDAC, Oyo State Government and hosts of other stakeholders.