The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to stop the consumption of non-iodine salt, saying “it is dangerous to human health”.
Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, the Director of Public Affairs of the agency advised in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
The director spoke while responding to the rumour that people in the rural communities were still consuming the local salt, which was not processed. He said that the consumption of such local salt could lead to goitre and other dangerous diseases to human health and called on Nigerians to do away with the product.
According to the director, there are four areas in Nigeria where traditional salt is still being traded, particularly in Nasarawa state.
“NAFDAC is making an effort to stop the trading of this salt in these states but some of them have refused. With the creation of NAFDAC in 1993, that was the first time and there was still major work to be done on salt consumption, he said.
“We have organised a sensitisation workshop on universal salt iodisation. We have been educating Nigerians that we should not be consuming this local salt because it is not iodine, he explained.
“We began a programme in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF), Micro Nutrient Initiative, Global Alliance and other development partners on the issue. We flag-off a campaign against that and it was held in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, in 2004 under late Professor Dora Akunyili as the Director-General of the agency, he added.
According to Jimoh, based on the work NAFDAC did then, Nigeria was declared universal salt iodisation compliance in Turkey and also won numerous awards in that regard.
“Nasarawa is one of the identified four major endemic areas, they have insisted that it is their traditional source of making a livelihood, it is commerce for them. They have told NAFDAC as at that time that if they must leave the trade, what they will be trading on must be provided for them,” the director disclosed.
He, however, called on those who are still trading and consuming non-iodine salt in Nasarawa to stop it, adding that such an act was capable of bringing setbacks to the country.