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NAFDAC moves to avert dangers of pesticides, agrochemical usage —DG

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NAFDAC moves to avert dangers of pesticides, agrochemical usage —DG

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.

Nigeria News Agency 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 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 public statement on Dichlorvos which highlighted some regulatory measures.

Among the measures was immediate ban on importation and manufacture of [100ml pack size of Dichlorvos(DDVP), ban on sale of DDVP in open market and supermarkets and mandatory listing of agrochemical dealers.

Other measures are 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 environment.

“The agency has also reviewed the use of Tallow Amine as inert material in the production of Glyphostate formulations. Tallow Amine that is available in various Glyphostate 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 Glyphostate 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 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 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 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.

Edited & Vetted By: Dada Ahmed
(NAN)

Akeem Abas: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Health

Kaduna health facilities engage in promoting breast milk substitute –Report

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Save the Children International (SCI), an NGO, has alleged that some health facilities in Kaduna state are engaged in promoting infant formula also known as Breast Milk Substitute (BMS).


SCI stated this in a report entitled, “Periodic Monitoring and Reporting of Health Facilities Compliance on BMS Code and Nutrition Services in Kauru and Soba Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna State”.

According to the report made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Wednesday the practice contravened the International Code of marketing BMS.

The NGO said that the practice was also against the Nigeria’s Marketing of Infant and Young Children Food (IYCF) and other Designated Products Regulations 2019.

It explained that the BMS Code and the Nigeria’s IYCF marketing regulations were designed to end inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.

SCI stressed that exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding remained the healthiest, safest and nutritious feeding practices for infant and young children as against BMS.

“The Code and the IYCF marketing regulations directed manufacturers and markers of BMS not to provide free products or samples of BMS to families through health workers or health facilities.

“They also warned against donation, acceptance or distribution of equipment or services to health facilities; gifts or incentives to health care staff as well as use of health facilities to host events, contests, or marketing.

“The MBS Code and IYCF marketing regulation equally warned against creating awareness directly or indirectly to parents and caregivers, on infant formula in health facilities by BMS manufacturing companies.

“But in spite of these provisions, health facilities in Kaduna state have continued to be used as a major conduit for promoting BMS products,” SCI said.

According to the NGO, a recent survey indicates that pregnant women who visits health centres in Kauru and Soba LGAs were being asked to feed their babies with infant formula by health workers.

“A mother of a one-and-half-year-old baby interviewed at one of the rural health facilities in Soba LGA, said that she was asked by a doctor to feed her newborn with `NAN’ Milk.

“Another mother of a four-month old baby, a midwife at a health centre in Maigana, Soba LGA, said that all her children were fed with infant formula, including her newborn baby.

“All the mothers interviewed said that they had no idea about BMS Code or Nigeria’s IYCF marketing regulation on promotion of BMS.

“Similarly, a female health worker in one of the rural hospitals in Kauru LGA acknowledged that she had been recommending BMS for baby whose mother had complications during delivery or had multiple newborn babies.”

SCI added that three health professionals in some of the facilities equally admitted that they had attended a health professional conference in Kaduna that was supported by a company that sells baby foods.

It said that a health worker was equally found using a BMS promotional material donated by one of the BMS producing company.

SCI said that of the 16 health workers interviewed in the two LGAs, none had ever heard about the BMS Code and the Nigeria’s IYCF marketing regulations.

“There is, therefore, the need for the state Ministry of Health and the State Primary Health Care Development Agency to provide mothers with vital information on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding practices.

NAFDAC should also extend its monitoring exercise to rural health facilities in the state, to ensure compliance on the BMS Code and Nigerian IYCF regulation.

“The state, LGAs, NAFDAC and development partners should also integrate BMS Code and the IYCF regulations into routine workshops, seminars, and sensitisation meetings being organised for health workers.

“This will enlighten the health workers on their roles in promoting compliance of BMS Code and IYCF regulations,” the NGO said.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Agriculture

Lagos to setup e-commerce hub to create export opportunities for agric-prenuers

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The Lagos State Government says it will set up an e-commerce hub for agriculture farmers and producers in the state to produce farm produce in hygienic condition for export purposes.


The State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said this during the inspection tour of venues of the Eko City Farmers Market, Ileya Edition, at St. Georges Primary School, Falomo, Lagos and Opebi Primary School, Opebi.

Olusanya said that the proposed hub would be located in a central location where all the certification of produce would take place.

She said that the ministry was trying to connect with the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop an app-tech hub to encourage the youth to actually bring innovative solution in the agric space.

“We are trying to set up hubs or platforms where we will be able to get our producers to come together and be able to produce in sanitary and hygienic condition for export opportunities.

“We will get organisations like SON, NAFDAC to do a sort of assessment on the items produced for us to be able to export.

“Essentially, we want to be able to make it easier for our producers to be able to produce in a way that they do not have to go through many channels to certify their products.

“We want to make our certification take place in one location and then they can easily export,” the acting commissioner said.

She said the state government was also trying to create an enabling environment for agric business and producers to ensure the ease of the doing business in the state.

“When you talk about app-tech and e-commerce, I think we have a platform for that in the Eko City Farmers Market, which is supposed to connect the producers to the consumers and whosoever wants to buy along any value chain that exists already.

“We know that there are several other platforms as well, like oja.ng and we have food.ng and a lot of platforms exist already to try to connect producers to the consumers.

“I believe we are doing that and you can come to the Ministry of Agriculture if you need any resources, if you need any help and support, we are willing and glad to do that.

“We have the agric-business department which actually has the mandate to be able to do farmer linkages to consumers, to farmers, to even the export community and to other stakeholders across the value chain. I believe that platform has been set up already,” she said.

Olusanya said that the ministry would hold a virtual stakeholders engagement in August to find out activities in the agric space, challenges and how to mitigate them.

“In August, we will be having our stakeholders’ engagement virtual, just to try to see what is ongoing with terrain in the agric space and to be able to see whatever challenges they have and how we can mitigate all and be able to offer solutions to them.

“I believe in app-tech space, yes a lot will be done, a lot still need to be done.

“We are also trying to connect to the our sister Ministry, which is the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop an app-tech hub to encourage the youth to actually bring innovative solution in the agric space, so we believe we are doing that.

“Also, we have the Lagos State Entrepreneurship Programme (LAP), in Araga, we will be commencing with the next batch in August and part of their syllabus is the e-commerce section, just to try to encourage them that it is not just about physical interaction between yourself and the consumer or whosoever is buying.

“It is to ensure that they can also setup e-commerce platforms, they can sell regardless of the time or the situation,” Olusanya said.

Also speaking, Mr Gbolahan Yishau, member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Eti Osa Local Government, said that the state government had done a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was still on.

Yishau said the state government was ensuring that food got to the residents, which was why the Eko city farmers market was established.

“On my part, what we have done is to empower people so that they can have the capacity to shop and buy whatever they need in their homes.

“So, we brought vouchers to augment whatever they might have to come to the market with or even those who have nothing to shop with would be able to buy things.

“The farmers are also happy because we have created additional market for people to buy from them.

“I think it is a very good initiative, especially with the festivities coming up next week, so people can have food on their table, which is a core thing during this pandemic.

“We have already given out some vouchers; in the morning, about 1000 people were given N1000 voucher and we are going to do more,” he said.

Similarly, the Executive Chairman, Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area, Mr. Francis Oke, lauded the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Oke said the market would ease the pressure of going to the open market to shop for their needs during the festival.

He said the market would be held for five days in the LCDA in order to give more people, more farmers, and producers opportunity to showcase their produce.

“This market is good for people that are preparing for the Ileya festival so that they can come here and buy whatever produce they want.

“At least, to reduce the stress and tension from our people from buying farm produce for the ileya festival.

“I have discussed with the Acting Commissioner that personally in Onigbongbo LCDA, we want a week long programme, not just one day, and luckily for us, the Commissioner agreed that we should have it till Friday, August 31,” he said.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Health

Eid-el-Kabir Celebration: FG tasks Muslims on Coronavirus protocols

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it inaugurated the Body of Experts for Health Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS), established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),  under the Chairmanship of the Director- General  of NAFDAC.


He said that the body is expected to address the challenges that limit Research and Development Investment in the healthcare sector.

He added that as the nation approach the last five days to the end of the eased lock down phase, the PTF shall rigorously evaluate the developments on the basis of emerging data, evolving science, strengthened best practices and improvements in the Risk Communication Strategy.

He said that all these would help the taskforce to form an opinion upon which the next set of recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari, would be based.

He also commended ‘friendly nations’ and corporate organisations for their continuing support through donation of medicines and equipment.

Mustapha thanked India for the donation of seven-tonnes of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of patients and others who donated Oxygen Concentrators, ambulance and phones respectively, assuring that the resources would be judiciously utilised.

The SGF noted that the sub-national entities have also escalated the levels of their ownership and urged them to continue as that was the most practicable means of dealing with the community transmission phase of the virus.

He also called for the proper disposal of face mask and any other used item properly and safely to save others, including street cleaners from being exposed to dangers.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Customs set ablaze N12m worth of expired seized goods in Kwara

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The Nigeria Customs Service, Kwara Area Command has burnt over N12 million worth of seized contraband goods.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the goods were set on fire on Tuesday in Ilorin.

Speaking with newsmen, Compt. Hussaini Bello, said that the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) and his team have always educate Nigerians not to patronise imported rice, as most of them expired before arriving in Nigeria.

Bello said 927 bags of foreign rice, 123 bags of semolina (10kg), 25 bags of semolina (5kg) and cartons of Mamador vegetable oil, all expired, were set on fire at the command’s headquarter.

“All these expired seized goods, worth N12.88 million and, certified not fit for both human and animal consumption by relevant authorities,’’ he said.

The comptroller urged smugglers to embrace legitimate business as the command will always be a step ahead of them and send them out of the illegitimate business.

“We will not get tired of stopping the smugglers, until we suppress the smuggling to the barest minimum,’’ Ahmed said.

NAN reports that some concerned agencies such as NAFDAC, SON, NESREA and KWEPA also witnessed the burning process.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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