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Fake agro-chemicals: NAFDAC nabs suspect in Niger, cautions farmers

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Niger, says it has arrested a suspect, Kabiru Idris, who produces adulterated agro-chemicals…

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Niger, says it has arrested a suspect, Kabiru Idris, who produces adulterated agro-chemicals in the state.

Mr James Kigbu, the state Coordinator, NAFDAC, disclosed this on Saturday when the suspect was brought to the agency’s office in Minna with some of the adulterated products.

“Recently we embarked on surveillance on agro-chemicals within Niger state and arrested one Alhaji Kabiru Idris in Makira, Mashegu Local Government Area, where he produces fake agro-chemicals.

“Our investigations so far reveal that he is the producer and distributor of agro-chemical known as Dudual 45 per cent used for pest control,” he said.

Kigbu said that Idris has confessed to the crime and is helping the agency in its investigation into the illicit trade.

He explained that after investigations, the suspect would be charged to Court and made to pay the necessary fines with written undertaking from the court not to engage in such unwholesome activity again.

The NAFDAC Coordinator said that before the arrest of Idris, the agency noticed that hawkers with no fixed addresses were selling many agro-chemicals to unsuspecting farmers in the state, especially in the rural areas.

He said that when the agency arrested some of the hawkers, they revealed that many of them came from Kano state to engage in the unwholesome trade.

Kigbu said that it was discovered that the agro-chemicals they were selling were fake and expired.

“The hawkers told us that after each farming season they stored the chemicals and continue with them again in the next farming season,” he said.

The NAFDAC Coordinator said that many of the hawkers do other jobs but turn to selling fake agro-chemicals because it is lucrative.

“Some of the hawkers are shoe shiners and water vendors,” he said.

He cautioned farmers in the rural areas to always purchase their agro-chemicals from a government approved retail outlet to avoid damaging their crops with adulterated agro-chemicals.

Kigbu noted that the persons who engage in the unwholesome practices use the empty containers of the original products to adulterate the agro-chemicals to defraud unsuspecting farmers.