Oluwafemi Agagu, Ibadan.
In a bid to prevent the entry of Bromomethane, commonly known as methyl bromide, into Nigeria, a public interest group, the Virtues Unlimited Restorative Justice Initiative, VURJI, has cautioned the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, against it’s approval for importation.
In a letter addressed to the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, which was obtained by ALL SKY TV NEWS, the group said it was imperative for the agency to act fast because of the negative effects of methyl bromide on humans and the environment.
VURJI noted that the substance had already been banned because it was dangerous to human health and caused environmental hazards by depleting the ozone layer.
According to the letter, which was signed by Justice Olamide Oloyede (rtd), a former judge of the Osun State High Court, the group said it was shocking to learn that efforts were being made to smuggle the banned toxic substance into the country.
“We are thus perplexed to hear that attempts are being made to secrete this toxic substance into our beloved country for use and can’t but wonder how this can possibly be, under the eagle eyes of the Nigerian Customs Service, who is deemed in law to be aware of the law,” the letter read in part.
The letter further read, “Our concern is spurred by the fact that it is almost invariably the very vulnerable: children, pregnant women and the challenehed either in health or finance (whose protection are all duty bound by a common humanity to ensure), that bears the brunt of the hardship ocassioned by the wanton disregard for the beneficial user of our natural environment on which undoubtedly our survival and the quest for sustainable development depends.”
Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and other related agencies were, also copied in the letter.
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