From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has a placed a ban on importation and usage of 30 different brands of pesticides and other chemicals found to be harmful to the health of Nigerians and their environment.
NAFDAC referred Nigerians to visit its website for the list of the banned pesticides, warning that it will come down hard on anyone that violates its regulations on importation of pesticides and other chemicals, knowingly or unknowingly.
The Agency, in a statement released in Abuja, on Sunday, indicated that its Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed the information at a two-day meeting of NAFDAC top management committee (TMC) held in Lagos, at the weekend.
She said that NAFDAC is ISO: 900: 2015 Quality Management System (QMS) certified organization that has put in place procedures to enable it take regulatory decisions to determine whether an active ingredient should be banned or restricted.
Prof. Adeyeye, thus dispelled the insinuation that 40 per cent of the registered brands (not actives) of pesticide products used in Nigeria are either banned or restricted for use by the European Union (EU), thereby endangering the lives of people, animals, and the environment in Nigeria.
She said: “Chemicals banned by international conventions have been phased out and never entertained for registration or given import permits as raw materials for production.
“Besides, as a sovereign state, Nigeria has regulatory bodies empowered to regulate and control the production, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale, and use of such chemical products.”
She said that Nigeria was a signatory to several international treaties and conventions that banned chemicals and pesticides such as the Rotterdam Convention, an international treaty designed to facilitate informed decision-making by countries with regard to trade in hazardous chemicals and pesticides.
Prof. Adeyeye, added that, in the last four years, NAFDAC has reviewed its regulations, guidelines and strengthen collaboration with government agencies and stakeholders to ensure effective regulations, and such collaborative effort has been recorded in agrochemicals regulation and other areas.
She added: “NAFDAC has reviewed the safety of all registered agrochemicals in Nigeria in consultation with relevant stakeholders, and had initiated four years’ phase-out plan for obsolete and some hazardous agrochemicals.
“Such phase-out plan is currently running for Paraquat, which will be phase-out in 2024 and Atrazine in 2025 while 100ml pack size of Dichlorvos (DDVP) is already banned due to inappropriate use.
“So far, about 30 pesticides have been banned in Nigeria. A prudent and responsible use of pesticides and agrochemicals is the paramount caution in the use of the products in Nigeria.”
NAFDAC boss, however, stressed the need for ethical and responsible use of regulated products, stressing that all should always buy and use registered products.
‘’The manufacturers’ instruction as indicated on the product label plays a significant role in achieving safe use of regulated products therefore, strict compliance to it is highly inevitable
“This is extremely important to forestall the risk of mishandling, poor storage, unsafe exposure to the products and unregistered/banned agrochemicals in circulation.”