The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has uncovered and sealed a warehouse belonging to H&H Integrated Nigeria Limited following illegal importation and housing of 49 unregistered food products and non-adherence to good hygienic practices in Lagos.
Newswatch Times gathered that the large warehouse located at N0. 30 Iman Dauda Street, Eric Moore, Lagos, was sealed following a tip-off and intelligence report which revealed that the company was involved in importation and storage of illegal food products, particularly snacks commonly consumed by children.
The company was also accused of not adhering to good hygienic practices as most of the products were stored in an unhygienic environment. And out of its 50 different brands of products, one was registered.
Some of the 49 unregistered products which are largely biscuits products for children include; Mr. Magic Soft Candy, Cracker soda biscuit, milk chocolate wafer roll, non-dairy creamer, H&H fruit Juice, Coklat pasta, sprite candy, Yummy H&H, chewing gum and Power milk cookies. Others are Henna Tatton bubble gum, twins crisp roll, non diary tea creamer, musical bracelet candy, stick candy milky, mix fruits flavour chewing gum, champion chocolate, Big band, Bufferfly choco, 123 H&H, Whistle milk candy strawberry/choco, mini choco bean, spray candy and Centic filled crispy roll.
Addressing journalist shortly after the closure of the warehouse in Lagos, NAFDAC’s Chief Regulatory Officer, Investigation and Enforcement, Pharmacist Babatunji Omoyeni, confirmed that the warehouse was storing products in an unkempt manner, adding that estimated 1.5 million cartoons of various unregistered products running into millions of naira were uncovered.
Omoyeni, who said H&H Integrated Company, was into importation, distribution and sales of biscuit products, said NAFDAC has already arrested the managing director of the company, and different samples of the 49 unregistered products taken for laboratory analysis.
According to him, the company has no form of warehousing system. “The place is so disorganised; we cannot even access the products to see whether rats and some other rodents are affecting them. No one can tell because it is not well arranged.”
Omoyeni, who expressed worry over the implications of exposure to poisonous rodents, said the arrangement in the warehouse creates room for revalidation of expiry and manufacturing dates of the products by the company.
“NAFDAC cannot guarantee the quality of these products, not only because they are not registered by the agency, but due to the poor storage system. Nigerians should be aware of what they buy from the markets for their children because when the children are affected, the whole country is involved.”
He further disclosed that the agency would begin investigations into the products, adding that, NAFDAC would not hesitate to take legal actions if it becomes necessary.
Noting that the agency has been carrying out enforcement activities nationwide in the last three weeks, he said: “Appropriate sanctions would be melted out on those found wanting. We are taking the managing director that is the head of the team here now. Nigerians should stop buying products that are not registered by NAFDAC because we cannot guarantee their safety. If a product is not registered, that means it is not safe for consumption.
Warning other companies to desist from such illegal acts, he queried how a company would register only one product, and brings in more 49 unregistered products under the guise of registering a product.
“One out of 50 products was registered; when you register one and you are now bringing in additional 49, that shows that they are not paying taxes, and Nigerian government does not have money, so companies have to pay so that the country can function well.”
Others unregistered products uncovered include; are choco stick, Nissile green bubble gum, Angry birds bubble gum, star tattoo bubble gum, lawane waifer, H&H spray candy, Power chocolate cookies, exit pepper mint, lush choco filled, choco pop cream, can bubble gum, mini choco bean marlborokent, Dat milk chocolate, cola tablet candy, A-K 47 gum candy, sweet girl chewy candy, musical bracelet candy and fun o. Power chocolate cookies among others.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on June 27, 2015.