NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has destroyed food products worth N32,683,359,280 (U.S$ 70890794.58) that were spurious, faked, expired, and unwholesome.
The Lafia dump site was the site of the destruction exercise carried out by the NAFDAC North Central Zone, which includes the states of Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Kwara, Niger, and Nasarawa.
In her keynote address, Professor Moji Adeyeye, Director General of NAFDAC, raised concern about the importation, distribution, and sales of unauthentic, risky, and unhealthy NAFDAC-regulated items, which she claimed pose a serious threat to human life.
“As part of our lawful responsibilities today, we are witnessing the destruction of various categories of regulated products with an estimated street value of N326,833,592,80. The products include food and chemicals, either confiscated or voluntarily handed over by companies and trade unions,” Adeyeye said.
To rid the country of fake and adulterated products, Mr. Francis Ononiwu, the representative of the DG and Director of the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, said that NAFDAC was seeking support from the general public and corporate bodies, including religious and traditional rulers.
The North Central Zonal Director, Pharm. Mohammed Shaba revealed in his statement that the agency’s enforcement arm had removed the destroyed products from the five North Central states in a period of eight to twelve months.
He added that the majority of violators have previously gone through legal proceedings and are either serving jail time or paying fines, stressing that the agency will not spare any violators of the regulated products.
Nonetheless, Shaba advised consumers to examine the product’s manufacturing and expiration dates as well as the NAFDAC number before purchasing any consumables.
He advised members of the public to inform the agency or security organization of any individual or group selling false, unregistered, unwholesome foods or other products that are subject to regulation.
Nigeria has long battled with the issue of substandard products with a lot of its exported products facing rejection over non-compliance.
The regulators, both NAFDAC and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have continuously enjoined manufacturers to strictly adhere to standards to ensure that the Nigerian market is poised to gain from the investments and trade opportunities that the AfCFTA agreement will inevitably bring.
SON recently launched mobile calibration trucks and measuring equipment as part of its efforts to promote made-in-Nigeria goods.
In an effort to promote industrialization and the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, the Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, also disclosed plans for the standards body to launch a huge calibration service campaign across the nation.