The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has countered reports that 40 percent of the registered brands of pesticide products used in Nigeria are either banned or restricted for use by the European Union (EU), and other places.
The Director General of the agency , Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this during a two-day top management committee (TMC) meeting of the organisation in Lagos.
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A statement from the agency quoted Prof Adeyeye as saying that NAFDAC is an ISO: 900: 2015 Quality Management System (QMS) certified organisation.
She said NAFDAC has put in place procedures to enable it take regulatory decisions and determine whether an active ingredient should be banned or restricted.
She said, “NAFDAC is a signatory to the international convention 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. “Chemicals banned by international convention have been phased out and never entertained for registration or given import permits as raw materials for production.”
She said NAFDAC is responsible for ensuring that chemical products produced in Nigeria and those being imported into the country meet the prerequisite in-country approval as well as international standards.
Prof Adeyeye added that the agency has a stringent requirement of ensuring that any pesticide imported into Nigeria is on the market in the exporting country, and that the current Free Sale Certificate is authenticated by the Nigerian embassy in the exporting country.
The NAFDAC boss said that to ensure that only active ingredients approved by NAFDAC are allowed into the country, the agency appointed Testing Agents (CRIA) and laboratories to conduct tests and forward results to the agency before any pesticide is shipped from countries that are major exporters of agrochemicals into Nigeria.
While saying that adequate quality control tests are carried out by the agency before granting certifications for all products that are either imported or manufactured within the country, she said that the field trial evaluation is conducted in collaboration with research institutes in Nigeria to determine the safety, quality and efficacy of new molecules as well as inspection of manufacturing facilities to establish Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
She said the EU uses much lower Maximum Residual Limits (MRLs) than most other CODEX member countries, adding that products with active ingredients that are accepted by other codex member countries including Nigeria are not allowed into the EU.
She called on investors to feel free and confident to invest in Agricultural production in Nigeria.