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Shippers seek more conducive trade environment in 2022

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Dredging of Onitsha River Port key to successful concession - SALS

Shippers seek more conducive trade environment in 2022

… As NAFDAC DG says Nigeria will not be made dumping ground for banned products, says***

Rev. Jonathan Nicole, President, Shippers Association of Lagos (SAL), says shippers are expecting a more conducive trade environment in 2022.

Nicole said this in a statement obtained by the newsmen on Saturday in Lagos.

He attributed the quest for a more conducive trade environment to the lingering effects of agitations, lawlessness and other negative consequences experienced in 2021.

He called on the port economic regulator to be more proactive in curtailing and eliminating the root causes of maritime backwardness.

Nicole noted that the restrictions on foreign exchange would be counterproductive as a lot of industries would be grossly affected by the policy.

According to him, import trade will suffer due to foreign exchange restrictions.

He noted that importers could hardly pay freight charges as the approved window was 5,000 dollars limit for 30 days.

“Freight above 5,000 dollars will be held up until freight charges have been fully prepaid upfront.

Goods will attract storage charges abroad for as long as the freight is pending and this type of restriction is counter productive.

“However, it is encouraging that President Buhari promised to provide foreign exchange for industries and manufactures in 2022 because of the importance of local production of essential materials and for exports,” he said.

Nicole noted that the other major challenge was that 82 per cent of the country’s agro-allied products are either seized or rejected by EU countries, the reason being that they are illegally exported without certification of government agencies.

“82 per cent of export cargo is enormous. With this in view, it might grossly affect our farmers directly or indirectly without export proceeds from the receivers abroad,” he said.

Nicole said that to have a good trading environment, shippers expect the Nigeria Customs Service amendment of CEMA to meet with the current realities in the World Trade Agreements. No more threats to Importers.

He said that they were seeking peaceful co-existence in the maritime sectors, urging shipping lines and terminal operators to induce the development of the maritime systems not just increasing costs as a major target.

“We expect reduction of cost of doing business in Nigeria and encourage entrepreneurship through direct investments from proceeds from our imports.

“The security of our waterways must be guaranteed.

Fishing vessels should be protected to enable Nigerians to supply fish into our various markets.

This is local content.

“The Gulf of Guinea has to be protected from invading pirates.

Nigeria waters should be safe enough for ourselves as stakeholders in Nigeria,” he said.

Nicole urged freight forwarders to be closer to cargo owners who provide them with jobs rather than becoming spies to government agencies in the name of getting rich quickly.

“We do not want anyone or group of people to take laws into their hands in the guise of compliance to ravage the sector in 2022,” he said.

 

In the meantime, Nigeria will not be a dumping ground for chemicals banned in other countries.

Prof. Moji Adeyeye, the agency’s Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Olusayo Akintola, The resident media consultant of NAFDAC.

Adeyeye also explained that it was not true that 40 per cent of the registered brands of pesticide products in Nigeria were banned or restricted for use by European Union.

“The agency has put in place procedures to enable it take regulatory decisions and determine whether an active ingredient should be banned or restricted.

“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.

“NAFDAC is ISO: 900: 2015 Quality Management System (QMS) and a certified organisation that has put in place procedures that enable the agency take regulatory decisions to determine whether an active ingredient should be banned or restricted.

“Chemicals banned by international convention have been phased out and never entertained for registration or given import permits as raw materials for production as a sovereign state,” she said.

She said NAFDAC has stringent requirements of ensuring that any pesticide to be imported into Nigeria is on the Market in the exporting country, the current Free Sale Certificate is authenticated by the Nigerian Embassy in the exporting country.

The NAFDAC boss also stated that in order to ensure that only active ingredients approved by the agency are allowed into the country, appointed testing agents (CRIA) and laboratories to conduct tests and forward results to the agency before any pesticide is shipped in.

Adeyeye stated that the World Health Organization (WHO) names four toxicity classes of pesticides:Class I – a: extremely hazardous, Class I – b: highly hazardous, Class II: moderately hazardous, Class III: slightly hazardous, Class U: Unlikely to present acute hazard.

She said these classifications are for guidance purposes to enable users to take necessary precautionary measures and to ensure the safety of food for humans, animals, and the environment.

Adequate quality control tests, she said,  are carried out by the agency before granting certifications for all products that are either imported or manufactured within the country.

The NAFDAC boss disclosed 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.

She said that all was in the aim to establish that a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) was in place to ensure that product manufactured meets the quality standard specification for the intended use.

Other regulatory activities she said include but are not limited to the issuance of authority to clear, continual sensitization and awareness exercises for relevant stakeholders on safe and responsible use of pesticides, post-marketing surveillance to mop-up fake and unregistered products.

She added that the agency also does other regulatory activities such as destruction of destruction and seized of products.

According to her, the EU uses much lower Maximum Residual Limits (MRLs) than most other CODEX member countries, hence the EU raised observations for the codex secretariat and subsequently for World Trade Organisation (WTO) to take note.

She explained that products with active ingredients that are accepted by other codex member countries including Nigeria are not allowed into the EU.

Adeyeye pointed out that lack of scientific data in Nigeria has been identified as a gap why the country participants refrain from raising observations during codex meetings and have no choice but to go by the general codex Alimentarius resolutions.

The NAFDAC boss called on all relevant research institutions to generate enough data and make available such data for the Nigerian team that attends Codex Committee meeting on Pesticides Residues (CCPR) to advance the country’s interest.

She said that all the pesticides approved for use by NAFDAC are also in use in other parts of the world, and called on investors to feel free and be confident to invest in Agricultural production in Nigeria.

She reiterated the agency’s determination and assurance to Nigerians that no stone would be left unturned to ensure that food products available to Nigerians are safe and wholesome.

She said that NAFDAC in the last four years of her administration has been repositioned to effectively regulate all agricultural inputs such as pesticides, and agrochemicals amidst other regulated products.

“The quality and safety of the inputs have a direct impact on the food from the farms and the health of humans, animals, and plants in line with the federal government agenda and investment in agriculture.

“The agency wishes to encourage investors to consider investing in agricultural production so that the creation of jobs and ability to feed ourselves as a nation without depending too much on foreign exchange can be achieved.

‘’It is noteworthy that a lot of regulatory activities have been carried out to ensure that all inputs regulated by NAFDAC required in the production of safe food are safe, efficacious and of the right quality.

“Local production of food is highly encouraged, in the last four years, has reviewed her regulations, guidelines and strengthen collaboration with Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDA) and stakeholders to ensure effective regulations.

“Such collaborative efforts have been recorded in agrochemicals regulation, NAFDAC has reviewed the safety of all registered agrochemicals in Nigeria in consultation with relevant stakeholders,” she stressed.

Adeyeye said a four-year initiation plan was rolled out to phase-out plan for obsolete and some hazardous agrochemicals adding that such phase-out plan is currently running for Paraquat, which would be phase-out in 2024 and Atrazine in 2025.

According to her 100ml pack size of Dichlorvosis was already banned due to inappropriate use and that about 30 pesticides have been banned in Nigeria.

She, therefore, advised the general public to visit the NAFDAC website (www.nafdac.gov.ng) for detail of banned pesticides.

l, adding that, prudent and responsible use of pesticides and agrochemicals was the paramount caution to use the products in Nigeria.

 

Health and Safety

NAFDAC Warns Against Use Of Sniper For Food Preservation

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NAFDAC Warns Against Use Of Sniper For Food Preservation

…Says it can cause cancer, death

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has once again issued a stern warning to Nigerians regarding the hazardous practice of using dangerous chemicals to preserve food items.

 Specifically, the agency has emphasized the dangers associated with dichlorvos, a chemical commonly utilized by traders to safeguard food from spoilage. 

The sale of small-volume dichlorvos (100 ml or less), sold as Sniper® has been banned since 2019 while the sale of the large volume (one litre) is limited to certified agrochemicals outlets. 

NAFDAC underscores the toxicity of dichlorvos to human health, cautioning that its use can have fatal consequences.

In response to a viral video showing individuals using dangerous chemicals to preserve food items like beans, stockfish, and crayfish, the Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, urged traders and merchants to desist from using unauthorized chemicals on food meant for human consumption.

The misuse of dichlorvos poses significant risks to human health, manifesting in both short-term and long-term consequences.

 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”, the Director of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Products (VMAP), Dr Rametu further stressed.

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Health and Safety

Praying Man Drowns At Lagos Beach, Divers Seek Body

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The Police said on Wednesday that divers were battling to recover the body of a 30-year-old man who allegedly drowned at Elegushi Beach, Lagos, where he had gone for prayers.

The Lagos Police Command spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, told newsmen) in Lagos.

He said a report to the police indicated that the man, identified as Samuel, had gone to pray at the beach with his friends.

Hundeyin said that the case was reported to the Ilasan Police Division at about 7.20 a.m. on Tuesday by a man whose name was not mentioned.

Hundeyin said that the man’s report revealed that on Tuesday, at midnight, he and three of his friends left Igbesan in Ogun to Elegushi Beach, Lekki for prayers.

The image maker said that the report stated that during the prayer session, at about 4.00 a.m., one of the friends, named Samuel, 30, allegedly drowned.

“Detectives of the division and effort promptly visited the scene is in progress by divers to recover the corpse.

“The family members of the deceased have been contacted and the investigation is ongoing,” he said. 

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Health and Safety

Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 

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Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 
…As Troops neutralise 7 insurgents, recover weapons, motorcycles in Kaduna

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Police Command in Lagos State have begun a 24-hour bike patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

RRS made this known in a post it shared on its official X handle @rrsLagos767 on Monday.

It stated that the Commander of RRS, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, had directed the squad’s motorcycle riders to begin a 24-hour patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge.

“RRS Commander, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi has directed the squad’s Bike Riders to commence a 24-hour patrol of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos as a way of protecting the infrastructure on the bridge.

“Also to prevent the incidence of harassment of road users by miscreants.

“This is in line with the directives of the State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade to the squad for the protection of lives, property and public infrastructure on the newly renovated bridge,” it stated.

RRS said that Egbeyemi appealed to motorists and road users to cooperate with the riders so that they could serve them better.

In another development, showing observable security improvement, the 1 Division Nigerian Army, said its troops have neutralised seven insurgents and recovered weapons and motorcycles in Kaduna.

This is contained in a statement issued by Lt-Col. On Monday in Kaduna, Musa Yahaya, the Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations 1 Division Nigerian Army.

Yahaya said, “Troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army deployed at a blocking position at Udawa carried out a fighting patrol along Udawa – Kurebe road on May 19.

According to him, during the aggressive patrol, troops made contact with insurgents and terrorist elements. They engaged them with a heavy volume of fire leading to the annihilation of five terrorists and violent extremists.

 He disclosed that items recovered during the encounter included,  one pump action gun, six cartridges, one empty AK 47 rifle magazine, one MP3 radio, one phone battery, two Baofeng radios,  two Baofeng radio chargers, four memory cards, two sim cards and four charms.

Some of the weapons recovered by troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army from the terrorists in Kaduna.

He said, “Relatedly, the division deployed at Sabo Birni in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State intercepted suspected movement of terrorist elements at Baka general area on 19 May 2024.

 Yahaya said the troops swiftly mobilised to the area and engaged the terrorists.

“In the firefight that ensued, the terrorists who could not withstand the superior firepower of the troops cowardly fled to nearby hills in disarray with several degrees of gunshot wounds.

 “The troops exploited the general area and recovered one AK 47 rifle and two motorcycles while blood stains were seen all over the scene of the incident.

He also disclosed that troops of the Division while lying in wait at Kwaga village in Birnin Gwari local government of Kaduna state, made contact with terrorist elements and neutralised two of the criminals.

 “Items recovered included two AK 47 rifles, two magazines and two motorcycles, “Yahaya said.

The spokesperson said Maj-Gen. Mayirenso  Saraso, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division NA and  Commander of Operation, Whirl Punch, commended the troops for their aggressive posture.

He charged them to sustain the tempo and make life unbearable for terrorists, insurgents, violent extremists and their cohorts.

He equally appealed to all law-abiding citizens to report to the NA or nearest security agencies, persons seen with gunshot wounds seeking medical attention.

 Yahaya also appealed to the good people of Kaduna and Niger States to avail the Army and other security agencies with timely and actionable intelligence for prompt action. 

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