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NAFDAC warns Nigerians against use of Sniper, other chemical for food preservation

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Nafdac

Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Fellow Press

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has again issued a stern warning to Nigerians regarding the use of hazardous chemicals like Snipers and others to preserve food.

The warning is contained in a statement signed by Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, and issued to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

Adeyeye gave the warning while responding to a viral video showing individuals using dangerous chemicals to preserve food items like beans, stockfish, and crayfish.

She said that the agency had many times emphasized on the dangers associated with dichlorvos (Sniper), a chemical commonly utilized by traders to safeguard food from spoilage, saying such could cause cancer, liver problem and others.

She said that the sale of small volume dichlorvos (100 ml or less), has been banned since 2019 while the sale of the large volume (one litre) was left to certify agrochemicals outlets.

Adeyeye said that NAFDAC underscored the toxicity of dichlorvos to human health, while cautioning that its use can have fatal consequences.

She therefore urged traders and merchants to desist from using unauthorized chemicals on food meant for human consumption, adding that the misuse of dichlorvos posed significant risks to human health.

According to her, the risk in using chemical for food preservation could manifest in both short-term and long-term exposure.

“Long-term exposure can result in severe health implications, including developmental abnormalities in offspring, memory loss, reduced fertility, and potential carcinogenic effects.

“These adverse effects highlight the importance of adhering to safety guidelines to mitigate the risks associated with dichlorvos exposure,” she said.

The D-G emphasized alternative methods for preserving food, while mentioning the use of bio-pesticides as a safer option compared to dichlorvos.

She noted that food remaining unspoiled for an extended period is an indication of pesticide contamination, rather than freshness, adding that unless such foods are stored in the refrigerator.

She said that NAFDAC had implemented several initiatives such as stakeholders’ sensitization meetings on restricting the direct application of dichlorvos on grains and foodstuffs in addition to the banning of the 100 ml size bottle.

Adeyeye said that the agency had initiated a thorough laboratory testing to ensure pesticide residues did not exceed maximum limits for both in-country consumption and for exports.

She said that NAFDAC had initiated routine monitoring of stakeholder to ensure compliance, while highlighting continued global best practices, including the phase-out of certain pesticides that have been banned in other countries due to proven toxicity.

She acknowledged the challenges faced by farmers due to bans on various chemicals and emphasized the importance of transitioning to safer alternatives.

The D-G also addressed the misconceptions about banned chemicals being dumped in Nigeria, and clarified that comprehensive lists have been provided to the media to dispel such notions.

The statement also quoted the Director of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Products (VMAP), Dr. Rametu Momodu, reiterating that using certain chemicals, especially pesticides, to protect grains and prevent beans from having weevils is not an approved practice.

Adeyeye explained that there were approved pesticides for use as fumigants, which should be used according to the manufacturer’s specifications on the product label.

She stressed that these products should not be applied directly to food due to their inherent dangers to human health, while elaborating that consuming food contaminated with dichlorvos could cause dizziness, vomiting, difficult breathing, tremors, and convulsions.

According to her, in some cases, such could lead to coma and death, and that once a pesticides is used on food items, it remains or residual on such food, posing a significant health risks.

She said that washing such food did not mitigate the risk, as the harmful substance would have already soaked into it.

She stated that the agency could not recommend washing as a solution, as it gave a false sense of security.

Momodu urged grain merchants, market vendors, and farmers to adhere strictly to manufacturer guidelines and refrain from directly applying dichlorvos to beans and other foodstuffs, adding that it should be used as field crop treatment or a fumigant, to ensure food safety.

She also advised consumers to avoid buying from vendors known to use such practices and to report them to the nearest NAFDAC office for appropriate sanctions

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Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

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The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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