The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has intensified mop-up activities in markets, supermarkets and departmental stores in South-East, ahead of the yuletide.
The Zonal Co-ordinator of NAFDAC, Mr Fori Tatama, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday.
According to him, the agency has also upgraded its activities as the annual festivities approach, to checkmate unwholesome, counterfeit, unregistered and expired products.
Tatama said NAFDAC was on guard to prevent unscrupulous elements taking advantage of the yuletide to sell unwholesome, unregistered and expired food, drug and cosmetic products to members of the public.
“The agency has instructed its members of staff in the zonal, state and other offices to go all out to inspect markets, super markets and departmental stores.
“This is to ensure that each product displayed is registered, wholesome and not expired.
“With experience, we know that most unscrupulous traders and business people use the advantage of rush in sales in the yuletide season to push out injurious products to the members of the public.
“So with our pro-active measures and working ahead of time, we will ensure that only genuine, wholesome and registered products are sold everywhere in the zone.
“The agency in the South-East has written to and started sensitising market and traders’ associations on this and the need for them to co-operate 100 per cent with our staff,“ he said.
Tatama, who said that officials of the agency would visit, markets among other places to mop-up all the unwanted products.
The zonal co-ordinator urged residents of the South-East to “shine your eyes’’ when buying any product this season; adding that they should not be carried away by low prices.
“We want all Nigerians, especially those living in the South-East, where Christmas and New Year festivities are highly celebrated to be wary of items they buy in the markets by questioning any irregularities in any product.
“Our people should look at the packing of products, including labelling, colour and shape of container of product, to start with.
“First, they should know if the packing conforms to the products they know and had been buying previously.
“Secondly, they should check the expiring and manufacturing dates of the products and the way these dates are printed for uniformity.
“They should also check for the NAFDAC registration number and any other logo or trade mark the product is known for before now.’’
Tatama said that the fight against counterfeit, unwholesome and unregistered products was a collective responsibility, adding that ‘’NAFDAC or the media cannot win the war alone.’’
He advised residents who noticed any irregularities in any product, especially food, drug and cosmetic products or a product that is not registered to lodge complaints with NAFDAC offices scattered in the country.
“For the South-East States; you can also reach us with this hotline numbers: Onitsha – 08033086597, 07065285650; Imo (Owerri) – 08037145506 and Aba – 08037272583.
“Ebonyi (Abakaliki) – 08033451634; Enugu – 08033966155 and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu– 08035325900
“The zonal co-ordinator’s number is 08036093178 and email is [email protected].’’
The zonal co-ordinator said that the agency was pushing its monitoring and regulation with cutting-edge technology and the use of information and social media. (NAN)