NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has issued a public notification regarding the illegal importation of unauthorized sugar brands manufactured in Brazil and India.
In a statement, NAFDAC revealed that these products are being smuggled into Nigeria through various border routes, including Cameroon (Douala), Niger, Chad, and the Benin Republic, and are subsequently distributed within Nigerian markets.
NAFDAC emphasizes that these imported sugar brands have not undergone the necessary registration process and are not fortified with Vitamin A.
Consequently, the safety and quality of these products cannot be guaranteed. The agency warns that their illegal importation and marketing pose significant risks to consumer health.
It has been observed that an estimated value of 200 trucks carrying these unauthorized sugar brands enter Nigerian markets monthly.
The affected communities include Mubi, Gamboru’gala, Saki, Keshi, Badagry, and Idi-Iroko. The sugar bags are sold at prices ranging from N32,000 (U.S$ 41.64) to N34,000 ?(U.S$ 44.24).
To protect public health, NAFDAC urges importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain, refraining from the importation, distribution, sale, and consumption of unregistered and regulated products.
The agency also calls on individuals who possess the aforementioned foreign unregistered sugar brands to submit their stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.
If anyone has consumed these unauthorized sugar brands or experienced adverse reactions after consumption, NAFDAC advises seeking immediate medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional.
Swift action is crucial to mitigate any potential health risks associated with the consumption of these unregistered products.
Food product smuggling is a significant issue in Nigeria, with various products being illegally imported into the country through porous borders and illicit channels.
The price differentials between neighboring countries and Nigeria, due to variations in taxes, tariffs, and import duties, create incentives for smuggling. Additionally, the demand for specific products that are either unavailable or more expensive locally drives consumers to seek out smuggled alternatives.
The smuggling of food products poses serious risks to public health, undermines regulatory frameworks, hampers local industries, and leads to revenue loss for the government.
NAFDAC plays a vital role in regulating and monitoring food and drug products in Nigeria, ensuring their safety, efficacy, and quality.
Public awareness campaigns regarding the risks of consuming unregistered products and the importance of purchasing from reputable sources can help protect consumers.
Effective collaboration between regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies, and border control personnel is crucial to curbing the illegal importation of unregistered goods.