The Federal Government on Thursday refuted a report urging Nigerians to be cautious over the use of chemical fertilizer.
This refutal is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Efem Nkanga, the Special Assistant (Media) to the Supervising Minister of Science and Technology and was also made available to the press.
According to the statement, the information is “a misinformed view totally incorrect and scientifically baseless”.
The statement said that Mr Abayomi Oguntunde, the Deputy Director, Department of Physical and Life Science, who represented the minister at a three-day National Conference on Environmental Health Sciences, was misquoted in the report.
Oguntunde was reported to have said that the use of chemical fertilizer posed serious health risks that could lead to death, allergy, sickness and disability.
The statement also stated that Genetically Modified crops ensured better and safer agricultural practices, because they eliminated the use of chemical fertilizer which endangered the environment by killing off beneficial organisms in the soil.
The statement said that the views expressed in the report did not represent the position of Mrs Omobola Johnson, the Supervising Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
It also stated that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Government of Nigeria were not in agreement with it.
“All over the world, about 50 per cent of total growth in food production comes from the use of fertilizer,” it noted.
According to the statement, the Ministry of Science and Technology strongly supports the efforts of the Federal Government and advises the public not to be misinformed or alarmed by the erroneous statements.
The statement enjoined Nigerians to disregard the caution on chemical fertilizers.
The statement reiterated that fertilizers — both organic and inorganic — had been scientifically proven to improve soil fertility management and ensured more productive, nutritious, safe and environmentally sustainable food production.
It further said that the use of fertilizer was safe and does not constitute any danger to human health or consumer safety.
This is to boost food production, improve food security, enhance human nutrition, and reverse soil nutrient depletion as well as soil degradation.