NIGERIA – In a recent operation conducted by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), 15 supermarkets in Minna, the capital of Niger State, were raided, leading to the sealing of one establishment and the confiscation of numerous expired commodities.
During the extensive raids, NAFDAC officials discovered various items that had either expired or were being sold without proper registration.
Among the confiscated products were tea, baked beans, beverages, and other food consumables.
Shockingly, one particular supermarket exhibited extremely poor hygiene and warehousing practices to the extent that some products were stored in the toilet. Consequently, the entire inventory was evacuated, and the supermarket was subsequently sealed.
The owner of the sealed supermarket, along with other suspects, has been summoned to Abuja and Kaduna for further investigation.
The seized products will be subjected to laboratory analysis to provide evidence for the prosecution of the offenders.
NAFDAC intends to ensure that fines are imposed or legal action is taken against violators, with the confiscated products being destroyed to safeguard public health.
While speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Shaba Mohammed, the Director of NAFDAC North Central, emphasized the importance of consumers carefully examining product labels, checking for the NAFDAC registration number, and verifying the expiration date.
He cautioned that some unscrupulous individuals might clean and reprint labels to deceive unsuspecting customers.
James Kigbu, the State Coordinator of NAFDAC, reiterated that this operation was part of their routine activities aimed at protecting public health.
The North Central zone, comprising Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue, and Plateau States, falls under the jurisdiction of the Agency.
In a related development, NAFDAC has recently intensified its efforts to ensure the safety and quality of food and drugs across the country.
With a surge in reports of counterfeit and substandard products, the agency has been conducting rigorous inspections, raids, and awareness campaigns to safeguard the well-being of Nigerian consumers.
Last week, it destroyed fake and substandard goods worth over N4.2bn (U.S$ 9,044,859) in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
The public is urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or products to the appropriate authorities to help combat the circulation of harmful goods in the market.