by Lekan Olanrewaju
According to Candel Agrochemical Company Limited, Nigeria’s foreign reserves have been depleted by as much N35 billion due to importation of agricultural pesticides.
The company’s technical representative, Mr. Emmanuel George, spoke about this at the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Panel Review meeting held on Tuesday in Lagos. He stated that Candel is committed to investing in the Lekki Free Trade Zone and contribute its quota to the growth and development of the economy. “100 per cent of all the agricultural pesticides used in Nigeria and valued at over N35 billion annually is imported, which is a major drain on the nation’s foreign reserves.” he said. “Candel is a Nigerian company with expertise from both local and foreign countries. So the company has taken into consideration the likely environmental health hazards and has mapped out measures to addressing them.”
He stressed that Candel has 31 NAFDAC registered brands, which include: herbicides, protectants, foliar fertilizers and stimulants, crop production packages, amongst others.
The Minister of Environment, through his representatives Mr. J. A. Alonge, the EIA Chairman, Professor F. A Akeredolu, and other government officials from Lagos State Government commended the company for its interest to participate in the Lekki Free Trade Zone but charged it to critically consider the associated and potential impacts of the proposed project on the area.
According to the report from the EIA Panel Review last year, there are several minor to moderate negative impacts, particularly those relating to construction impacts on the people as well as the possibility of infiltration of groundwater by contaminants associated with project activities during operations.
The Ministry of Environment thus tasked the company to provide appropriate mitigation measures to minimize or completely eliminate the identified negative impacts.