Operatives of the National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have clampdown on warehouses with unregistered tomato pastes, food seasonings and sardines worth millions of naira, in Lagos.
The Acting Director General, NAFDAC, Dr Monica Eimunjeze, who led the enforcement team for the sting operation, said despite the ban on 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.
Briefing pressmen on the development at the NAFDAC Office, Isolo, Lagos on Wednesday, Eimunjeze said although investigation is ongoing on the goods, but it was necessary to alert the public on the discovery to prevent the consumption of such unregistered products.
Among the list of the unregistered tomato pastes brands displayed at the NAFDAC’s office were Lena, Mummy’s Joy, St Anne, 1st Choice, Famrite, Estus and others.
According to her “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, 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”.
She particularly appreciated Head of Enforcement of the agency, for his vigilance and alertness in spotting warehouses where these illegal products are kept. She 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 specially 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.
Recall that in 2019, the Federal Government of Nigeria banned the importation of canned/tinned tomato paste, powder, or concentrate and its tariffs were increased from five per cent to 50 per cent 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 still being display in markets and stores across the country.
With the recent move of the Ag NAFDAC DG and her team in enforcing the ban action, local manufacturers of tomato pastes may begin to rejoice.