NIGERIA – Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has introduced additional measures to address the issue of unbranded cereals and other industrial-sized food items entering open markets.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, disclosed this new move while expressing concerns about the health risks associated with unbranded cereals distributed in unsanitary conditions during a stakeholders’ end-of-year open dialogue.
Adeyeye stressed the importance of controlling the presence of bulk food items in markets potentially originating from the warehouses of food manufacturing companies.
She emphasized the agency’s critical examination of the process of issuing permits for bulk food raw materials and announced additional measures to assess and verify the utilization records of companies applying for import permits.
The agency intends to scrutinize previous import and utilization records to ensure that companies are requesting quantities based on actual usage. The goal is to prevent the diversion of these bulk food items into open markets, promoting food safety and hygiene.
“We don’t want to just see your stock cards; we want to know what you imported in the previous year. We want to know what you used because there are some calculations that we need to make.”
The stern measures follow last year’s move by the agency, warning Nigerians against the perilous consumption of unbranded cereals that flood open markets across the nation.
During the call, Prof. Adeyeye emphasized the dangers posed by unbranded cereals.
“When a product is not certified by NAFDAC, it is not advisable that anybody should consume it. The unbranded products in the market do not have NAFDAC registration/marketing authorization number,” she firmly asserted.
Highlighting a crucial aspect of the agency’s regulatory process, Adeyeye emphasized that all products that have undergone NAFDAC’s rigorous scrutiny are packaged with NAFDAC registration numbers.
These numbers are not just a formality; they are a guarantee of quality, safety, and compliance with stringent standards.
She declared that NAFDAC would no longer tolerate poorly disposed of, expired, or stolen products surreptitiously infiltrating the market through scavengers at waste dumpsites.
Such clandestine operations, she pointed out, not only endanger the lives of innocent consumers but particularly pose a threat to children.