The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has sealed a warehouse stocked with uncertified pasta, flour, and sugar in Okota area of Lagos, saying that these products are unwholesome for public consumption.
The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that these products were smuggled in with no import documentation and registration numbers, adding that they are unsafe and could lead to dangerous health hazards to the unsuspecting Nigerian consumers.
He said the enforcement exercise is in a bid to ensure that only goods that meet the minimum requirement of the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) thrive in the country.
Aboloma, added that the exercise was also to flag off its campaign to eradicate imported sugar, flour and pasta in the country, assuring Nigerians that wherever these products are found it would be removed.
The SON boss, who was represented by the Deputy Director and Head of Market Surveillance, Suleiman Issa, said: “These products do not have product registration on them for us to know that they have undergone the necessary testing and certification. I will advise Nigerians to look out for the labelling, registration numbers of SON and NAFDAC. Any product that is not certified and is smuggled is very risky and unwholesome for consumption. Henceforth, if we see just a piece of imported pasta, we are going to hold you responsible till you take us to the source.”
“The fortification is a mandatory policy of the federal government. Any sugar, flour or pasta that must be consumed in Nigeria must be fortified with Vitamin A. This is why the Federal Government has advised that only locally produced sugar and flour should be allowed to sell in the market. This is a starting point and it is now a flag off and anywhere we see it we will pick it up.”
He however advised shop owners and retailers to desist from buying these imported products, saying that the importation of pasta, sugar and flour without vitamin A fortification into the country is prohibited.”
“We want to warn shop owners and the Nigerian populace that SON does not have any record of their registration and in the first place, these products are prohibited and even the shop owners are aware that these products are not supposed to be on their shelves.
“They know that these products are prohibited that is why we can find it in large quantities. We are going to make sure wherever these products are, we will start with the ones we have seen and trace it to the others,” he added.