The National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has again discovered another warehouse in Lagos where unregistered food products including sardines, cooking spices, and tomato pastes worth millions of Naira were stashed.
The Agency had earlier in the week uncovered a warehouse in Lagos containing potassium bromate tablets and an unregistered imported bread improver.
Briefing journalists in Lagos, the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Dr Monica Eimunjeze who led the enforcement team for the sting operation told journalists that despite the ban on the importation of tomato pastes in the country, they were astonished to see heavy loads of unregistered tomato pastes, seasonings and sardines stockpiled in warehouses located in Lagos.
Eimunjeze said although an investigation is ongoing it was necessary to alert the public on the discovery to prevent the consumption of such unregistered products, especially now the festive period is at hand.
Some unregistered tomato pastes brands were confiscated: Lena, Mummy’s Joy, St Anne, 1st Choice, Famrite, Estus and others.
“We uncovered some banned tomato pastes products, which have not been evaluated by this agency, stockpiled in warehouses in Lagos. The products question the existence of local manufacturers who are in the line of production of these products.
”As I said earlier, the investigation is ongoing, but suffice it to say that the quantities are remarkable enough to warrant attention, and we can’t speak to the quality of these products”.
Eimunjeze also expressed displeasure over the development, as she narrated that the operation was a tough one, and if nothing is done to stem the tide, it could get worse.
“I want to especially appreciate the works of our investigation and enforcement director, Mr Martins and his team, ably supported by our officers, who joined us on this operation. It was not easy, I wouldn’t say more than that, and we know it could get worse if such crack operations are not carried out”, she explained.
The Federal Government had in 2019 banned the importation of canned/tinned tomato paste, powder, or concentrate and its tariffs were increased from five percent to 50 percent in a bid to ensure that they are properly certified by NAFDAC to ascertain their wholesomeness.
However, it is shocking to see different brands of these products displayed in markets and stores across the country.