By Muhammad Auwal
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to stop the consumption of non- iodized salt as “it is dangerous to human health.”
Dr Abubakar Jimoh, the Director of Public Affairs of the agency, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
The director was responding to information that people in rural communities were still consuming local salt, which was not processed.
He said that the consumption of such local salt could lead to goiter and other dangerous diseases and called on Nigerians to avoid 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 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.
“We have organised sensitisation workshop on universal salt iodisation.
“We have been educating Nigerians that we should not be consuming this local salt because it is not iodised.
“We began a programme in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Micro Nutrient Initiative, Global Alliance and other development partners on the issue.
“We flagged off a campaign against that and it was held in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, in 2004 under late Prof. Dora Akunyili as the Director General of the agency.
Jimoh said based on the work NAFDAC did then, Nigeria was declared universal salt iodisation compliant 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 livelihood, it is commerce for them.
“They told NAFDAC at that time that if they must leave the trade, what they will be trading on must be provided for them,” the director said.
He, however, called on those still trading and consuming non-iodised salt in Nasarawa State to stop as the act was capable of bringing setback to the country.