By Aderogba George
Abuja – The National Agency for Food and Administration and Control ( NAFDAC ) has reiterated its plans to phase out sniper from the open market in no distant time.
NAFDAC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, restated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
According to him, the agency has posted out on its website details on how it intends to go about the exercise and urged the public to visit the website, www.nafdac.gov.ng for the details.
The NAFDAC director of public affairs also said that work had started on the planned phase-out and the agency was following gradually the time table it rolled-out for it.
“We have posted some of the policy measures on our website; we are going by the Mathematics sequence to do what we set out to do as a regulatory agency.
“NAFDAC has just finished the first sensitisation campaign about this. It was held in Kano and it will be taken round the six geo-political zones.
“ We are partnering Crop Life International, an international Non-Governmental Organisation ( NGO) that is equally concerned about this problem of sniper,” he said.
He said that the plan of the agency was to ensure that sniper was phased out of the open market and left in the hands of those who used it for business purposes, especially those in the agricultural sector.
Jimoh added that the product would also be left in the hands of those who were licensed to bring it into the country.
According to Jimoh, the agency will impound the product from persons or business venture not authorised to deal in it and prosecute such people.
The director further said that the agency was moving to the next level which was enforcement after sensitisation.
He said that the agency had allowed some period for that those who brought it illegally to clear the substance off their stock.
“Before now, we have also started mopping up the unauthorised places.
“We are allowing those who are not authorised to sell off theirs even at the open market. After this, we can now come to the area of restriction and where it will be sold,” he added.
Jimoh said that certain proactive measures had been taken to mitigate the menace of misuse of the substance and advised Nigerians under stress to engage in counselling instead of using sniper to commit suicid.
According to him, government is also taking a look at some of the factors that can predispose some people to committing suicide