The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) on Wednesday sealed a warehouse and five shops loaded with more than 1, 500 kegs of 25 litres contraband vegetable oil in Ibadan.
This followed a simultaneous operation carried out by the enforcement team of the agency from Lagos at the popular Agbeni and Bodija Markets in the metropolis.
The kegs of the contraband vegetable oil, which were subsequently seized by the agency, carried the brand name “Moi-Gold Vegetable Oil” of which over 700 kegs of the prohibited oil were found inside the warehouse located at the heart of Agbeni Market.
|Paul Orhi NAFDAC DG|
Upon the discovery, three arrests were made while two others escaped. One of those arrested, a 23-year-old undergraduate, Tunde Ayeni, said he was running the warehouse on the behalf of his mom, whom he simply called “Alhaja”.
He, however, refused to give further statements by exercising his right to a lawyer.
Also, in the warehouse, the process of re-bagging and rebranding of damaged rice in new sacks labelled “Rising Sun Parboiled Rice” was ongoing upon the arrival of the NAFDAC operatives.
While addressing journalists shortly after the exercise amid bewildered market men and women, a Chief Regulatory Officer and leader of the enforcement team, Mr. Folorunsho Idowu , said that the operation followed intelligence reports and surveillance efforts of the agency in its efforts to rid the markets of the contraband vegetable which had illegally found its way into the markets.
Idowu, who is of the NAFDAC’S Investigation and Enforcement Directorate in Lagos, said that the consumption of uncertified and contraband foods could pose serious health hazards to the people.
“Our operation today at Agbeni and Bodija Markets is to mop up sales of unregistered vegetable oil particularly the Moi-Gold Oil.
“This has been smuggled through the land border and is sold in the markets without being tested and certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC or any approved laboratory.
“We wish to sensitise people to the fact that Moi-Gold Vegetable Oil is not registered by NAFDAC and it is on import prohibition list of the Nigerian Customs Service,” he said.
According him, revalidating; refilling; re-bagging and rebranding of “caked rice”; torn or damaged bags of rice is illegal and a violation of NAFDAC regulations.
The Moi-Gold Vegetable Oil, which comes in 25 litres keg, sells for N6,200 while other certified brands of vegetable oil, also in 25 litres, are sold for N6,500.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on September 5, 2015.