Day NAFDAC Took Campaign Against Skin Bleaching To PH
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged journalists, supermarket and retail outlets within the South-South to join the agency in its war against use of bleaching, and whitening cream.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, made the call early in the week at Port Harcourt in an address at the South-South Media Sensitisation Workshop on Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Controls.
Adeyeye, who spoke through Zonal Director, Chike Obiano noted that there was an imperative to warn people in the South-South and Nigerians in general about the harmful effects of bleaching creams and the dangers they pose to health.
According to her, some of the dangers include skin irritation and allergy, skin burn and rashes, wrinkles, premature skin ageing and prolonged healing of wounds.
Last year, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, acting on the resolutions of the Senate wrote to NAFDAC stressing the need to take stringent regulatory actions to stem the dangerous tide of rampant and pervasive cases of Nigerians using bleaching creams.
“We immediately took some decisive steps such as sensitisation of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in trade fair complexes that have resulted in large seizures and destruction of volatile products”, she disclosed.
“One of such sensitisation actions was the flag-off of Media sensitisation workshops organised for journalists in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt and today in Enugu.
“Today’s sensitisation workshop is therefore a fulfilment of my promise to cascade it to the six geo-political zones in the country. This is a deliberate strategy of mobilising, educating, sensitising, and challenging Nigerian Health Journalists to play a frontline role in our concerted efforts to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams and needless waste of scarce resources in Nigeria,” she further said.
Adeyeye noted that the sensitisation workshop was a training the trainers’ programme with the great expectation that participants would assume the role of champions in the vanguard of the campaign against use of bleaching creams.
Statistics on the use of whitening creams across the globe by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 2018 study revealed that use of skin bleaching creams was prevalent among 77 per cent of Nigerian women which was highest in Africa compared to 59 per cent in Togo, 35 per cent in South Africa and 27 per cent women in Senegal.
This scary statistics according to her has become a national challenge hence a multi-pronged consultative/sensitisation meetings was organised along sides heightened raids on distribution outlets of bleaching creams,” she stated.
In her overview of “Skin Bleaching: The NAFDAC Perspective”, Mrs Anto Ebele, a deputy director in the agency explained that many people use skin whitening creams for social acceptance.
She explained that normally cosmetics are used to enhance appearance but not to damage nature as some women and men have shown these days.
The damage caused by bleaching goes beyond the physical appearance to even internal organs as the kidney.
Also Speaking, Director of Public Affairs in NAFDAC, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, said the agency wanted to adopt a more humane approach in tacklinf the menace of bleaching cream by engaging the media practitioners in order to get Nigerians rightly informed against bleaching cream.
Jimoh noted that the agency wanted Nigerians, who use bleaching creams to know the dangers and negative consequences of using such cosmetics.
“We thank the media for their sustained support all these years; however, we want media practitioners to do more for us in this era of war against bleaching cream nationwide,” he said.
The President, Association of Nigeria Health Journalists, Mr Hassan Zaggi, urged health journalists to push the advocacy against the use of bleaching creams to the front burner of media discourse and engineering public thoughts toward it.
“Media practitioners should do more by creating time to talk one-on-one to people around them on the dangers of bleaching cream,” Zaggi said.
The workshop featured paper presentation on: “An Overview of Skin Bleaching: The NAFDAC Perspective”; “Role of Mass Media in Promoting Public Health in Nigeria”; “Safe Handling of Chemicals and Ingredients in the Cosmetics Industry” and “The Cosmovigillance Best Practices” among others.
By: Kevin Nengia
NSCDC Arrests 186 Over Oil Theft
The State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, says it has made 186 arrests within 10 months including 408 suspects while securing convictions of 21 persons at the Federal High Court.
Already, 41 convicts are serving jail terms, while over 42 forfeitures have been made and based on the passing into law of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 by the National Assembly.
State Commandant of NSCDC, Michael Besong Ogar made the revelation while hosting the Executive Director of the Youth Environmental Advocacy Centre, (YEAC-NIGERIA and United Kingdom) in his office in Port Harcourt.
He said the agency is open 24 hours to receive information that would enhance the arrest of suspects dealing illegally in petroleum products, as he further restated the Command’s commitment in stemming the spate of crime and all sorts of vices in the State.
“Let me officially welcome you to my office; meanwhile, this is also your office because as a concerned citizen and a strong advocate against oil theft and as an environmentalist, we have a lot to do together. Our strong synergy will definitely rid the nation of economic saboteurs and savage Rivers State from all forms of health hazards emanating from aquatic pollution, air pollution and most especially environmental degradation”.
“Within my 10months of assumption of office as the 13th substantive State Commandant of NSCDC, Rivers State Command, we have stood very firm in the fight against illegal dealings in petroleum products, all our operatives on land and the marine signed an oath of allegiance to refrain from connivance or aiding and abetting oil bunkering activities”.
The Rivers State Commandant who later spoke with the foreign journalists from Seoul, South Korea lauded the Federal Government for the unflinching support in the provision of necessary logistics that have enhanced the corps in anti-vandalism and the fight against oil theft across the nation.
He further advised those stealing from the proceeds through illegal deal in petroleum products to look for other meaningful and rewarding businesses or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking, the Executive Director, Youth Environmental Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene expressed his readiness to work with the NSCDC in order to fight illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.
He commended the State Commandant for the numerous achievements and promised to collaborate with the command through the advocacy centre, noting that the NSCDC as the lead agency in safeguarding oil pipelines and other critical national assets and infrastructure in the nation must continue to work with both local and foreign bodies to actualise their statutory mandate.
By: Kevin Nengia
Drivers, Travellers Groan Over Bad Road At Mbiama
Drivers and passengers have decried the poor state of the East-West Road from Ahoada axis up to the Mbiama axis of Rivers State.
They said, Mbiama and Akinima axis is the worst hit as long vehicle fall and block the road always.
Last Tuesday, youths and indigenes from Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, protested over the dilapidated condition of the road.
The youths, who were led by the President of Igbuduya Youths Federation of Okogbe Community, Comrade Ifeanyi Madu, said they blocked the ever busy East-West Road in a peaceful protest against the Federal Government for failing to rehabilitate that portion of the road almost a year after flood swept through the area.
Travellers were trapped for several hours on Mbiama-Ahoada axis of East-West last Tuesday as youths from Ekpeye Kingdom in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State were protesting against poor state of the road
Eyewitnesses told The Tide Metro that it took several hours of negotiation and appeals before travellers were allowed to pass through the ever-busy Trunk A federal high way.
A driver, Jude Ede who spoke to The Tide Metro said their vehicles breakdown often on the road.
He said, “some parts are motorable, as Setraco graded some parts after the flooding.”
Ede lamented that many drivers avoid the route and as a result transport fare has risen. For saloon cars, passengers pay N3, 000 from Port Harcourt to Yenagoa as against N2,000 last year.
On the other hand buses charge passengers N2,500, as against N1,800 previously.
He also blames the situation to hike in price of fuel and cost of maintenance,” even the price of fuel comes down we will reduce the fare, but for now there is nothing we can do.”
The same view was expressed by Prince Olalekan who plies the route from Port Harcourt, “the road is not accessible on Tuesdays”, he said, “most of drivers avoid the route because of the market at Mbiama.”
Besides, he also decried the poor security, noting that between Emohua and Ahoada axis is danger zone as kidnappers waylay vehicles.
Olalekan recalled that last Monday, some passengers were kidnapped on the route.
Calling for the security agencies to beef up surveillance, the commercial transport dealer said poor state of the road makes it easy for vehicles to be attacked by hoodlums.
For Tonye Ekine, the axis between Okogbe and Ahoada should be fixed to reduce their challenge.
He also complained about the Mbiama market which causes traffic jam on the road, especially on Tuesdays,” most of us now use the old bridge which is not safe.”
Ekine, who is a bus driver suggested that the contractors handling repairs should ensure that the failed portions should fixed as the rains come.
“If you look at some parts of the road that were graded last year, it has started to fail. And the Mbiama market needs to be relocated as well.”
By: Kevin Nengia
Diobu Cult War: Police Raid Hideouts, Arrest Suspects
The Rivers State Police Special Joint Taskforce has raided hideouts for cultists around the Diobu axis, following a fratricidal clash that led to up to five persons dead in the last one week.
The Tide Metro was reliably informed that the raid was ordered by the State Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong Okon as the taskforce commanders swung into action.
The raid in Diobu was from the Mile 1 area up to Mile 4 area of Port Harcourt last Monday.
The operation targeted criminal hideouts and resulted in the arrest of 31 male suspects, who are believed to be largely members of the notorious secret cults terrorising the neighbourhood.
For the past three weeks, the area had witnessed a spate of shootings, especially from Njemanze axis up to Mile 3, Diobu.
Confirming the raid to The Tide Metro, Police Public Relations Officer, Sp. Grace Iringe-Koko said the action of the police was to restore peace and security around the area.
She added that the suspects are being profiled, while investigations are ongoing, assuring that once it is completed, those found wanting would be charged to court.
Recall that a forthnight ago, Chairman of Rumuwoji Community Development Committee, Comrade Ike Wigodo raised an alarm over shootings, stealing and harassment of residents and businesses around the Rumuwoji and Mile One area.
Wigodo who made a plea to the police and government for intervention warned that if the situation was not arrested, it might lead to loss of live and property as well as disrupt business in the area, thereby inflicting economic hardship on residents who were already living in fear.
By: Kevin Nengia
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