As FCT takes off  

Alice Ekpang

The Pest Control Association of Nigeria has cried out over excessive taxes imposed on its members and the invasion of the profession by quacks and touts.

The National President of PECAN, Olakunle Williams, raised the alarm while inaugurating the Federal Capital Territory Chapter of the professional body in Abuja.

Williams said, “There is a menace threatening us as practitioners, as a people and as a nation, which if not tackled, would continue to retard our growth. Before the emergence of Covid-19, quackery had been in existence, but the emergence of Covid-19 has brought about what I can refer to as professional quackery.

“We have people hawking and selling harmful chemicals openly on our roads, those without any educational background on dispensing chemicals as pharmacists dispense drugs. This is the time the regulators should join hands with us to put a stop to this menace of quackery.

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“Note that a number of people have been sent to their early graves due to this problem. Who knows who will be next. Are you aware that most of the foods we buy in markets are preserved with very dangerous chemicals which quietly damage organs in the body?

 “The industry of Pest Control has been yoked from all angles and the practitioners are crying out for these yokes to be lessened or removed out rightly, the yoke of high permit rate by the local governments or area councils. In a situation when the law stipulates not more than Ten thousand naira for an annual permit, practitioners are being forced to pay above this is an illegality that needs to be addressed in most parts of the country.

“As a profession in the public health sector, which the Nigerian constitution agrees with, VAT is exempted, yet our members are still required to pay. This is nothing but a crippling stump which governments at all levels should please look into for the growth of the pest control industry in Nigeria and consequently increase the life expectancy in our nation as most pests are vectors of diseases which account for a very high mortality rate.

“I would  want  all Abuja  chapter members who are being  inaugurated  today  to know that  our setting up this chapter is not  a way  of fighting  those  yet to  align with you as a body,  but a way of pursuing  a common goal as a  chapter  which others  would  see and  align  with after  meeting  all necessary conditions  for membership to enable the  growth of the industry  in  Nigeria  and  Africa  as a whole,” he said.

On his part, the Abuja Chapter President of PECAN, Terungwa Abari, promised to do his best in ensuring that the members maintain the high ethical standards in the discharge of their duties in order to take the industry to the next level.

Abari explained that the association would liaise with other regulatory bodies to put a stop to the menace of quackery in the industry.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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