The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has banned the sale of Sniper (a well-known insecticide), and other agrochemical formulations in supermarkets and open shops. The government agency also banned the hawking of these products.
In a statement signed by its Director General, Mojisola Adeyeye, on Wednesday, it was disclosed that the ban will take effect from the 1st of September 2019. The statement also emphasised that going forward, Sniper and other related products will only be used for outdoor purposes and not domestic use.
[READ MORE: Pharmadeko Plc has been hit hard by the codeine ban]
According to NAFDAC, the “partial ban” on Sniper became necessary following several reported cases of people abusing the product.
— NAFDAC NIGERIA (@NafdacAgency) July 11, 2019
“NAFDAC is giving a two-month (up to August 31, 2019) notice to brand owners/distributors to recall and withdraw their products from open markets and supermarkets that do not have garden corner/shelves to the agro-dealer outlets.
“NAFDAC is giving a six-month moratorium up to January 1, 2020, for brand owners to exhaust the products that are in various accredited agro-input dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) outlets.”
The agency also ordered that the list of all the dealers in the products should be made available so that proper monitoring can commence.
Note that the agency had earlier condemned the use of Sniper and other agrochemicals for food preservation.
Before the “partial ban”: It should be noted that prior to this time, Sniper had become one of the most easily abused chemical substances in the country. Ignoring its initial use as a pesticide, some people used it as a mosquito repellant and most recently, as a quick means to committing suicide. misery’.
The implication of this: The development will not augur well for the manufacturers of the product. This is because the tighter regulation will make it difficult to easily distribute the product. This may, in turn, result in profit declines.
On the other hand, the manufactures of Mortein, Raid, Rambo, and others insecticides, who have been experiencing slight downturns in demand due to competition, may now witness increasing demand. This is because some people would have no choice but to go back to buying them.
Is this really necessary? The ban on the sale of Sniper in open shops and markets is not a means to an end as it would not solve the suicide problem facing the economy. Sniper is just one of the many objects/substances that people use to commit suicide. Some people jump off the bridge while some others stab themselves even as others drink other poisonous substances. Yet, the use of these other substances/objects have not been banned.
Even if Sniper is completely banned, those who wish to end their lives can still use other means such as walking in front of moving vehicles, drowning, pill overdose, etc.
The Government should, therefore, focus more on eradicating the factors responsible for the high suicide rate and less on the means used in committing suicides.