The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday moved against importers and retailers of fruit juices in what the agency called a “mop-up” exercise of foreign banned juices in the country.
In Kaduna State, where the exercise was in full-swing, the agency’s Coordinator for the state, Mr. Natim Mullah-Dadi, said that the exercise was as a result of Federal Government import prohibition list with emphasis on super and central markets in the state.
Mullah-Dadi added that the reason for the mop-up was to safeguard the health of the general public and to ensure a healthy environment for residents.
“There is an import prohibition list that bans the importation of fruit juices in retail pack into the country and Kaduna State is inclusive.
“All fruit juices in retail pack are banned and people should avoid buying them because when you engage in selling such products, they are not made in Nigeria.
“We are mopping-out all the foreign fruit juices in the markets so as to encourage our manufacturers here in the country and to also create job for our youths,” he said.
The State Coordinator for the agency said that all juices in retail packs sold in supermarkets and central markets must be removed to save lives.
He added that most of these products do not have a NAFDAC registration number. He advised the public to always check manufacturing and expiry dates as well as NAFDAC registration number of the product before purchase.
Mullah-Dadi said that the agency would continue to sensitise sellers of fruit juices until there was total compliance.
In the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, the agency raided some markets and impounded foreign made fruit juices worth millions of naira.
Some of the fruit juices confiscated at the Relief Market and Supermarkets include Masafi, Euro drink and Peach.
The Deputy Director of NAFDAC in Anambra State, Mrs. Christina Essenwa, explained that the raid followed the Federal Government’s ban on imported fruit juices and other products.
“The exercise was aimed at mopping up all imported fruit juices from all markets, shops and supermarkets following the ban.
“This is a nationwide exercise. It is aimed at strengthening local industries and increase activities in the fruit juice manufacturing sector.
“The country is blessed with rich natural and human resources. Fruits are everywhere wasting. Go to waste dumps and see piles of fruits wasting because we have not been able to fully utilize our potentials.
“The exercise is, therefore, a necessity to minimize the wastage,” Essenwa emphasized.
She added that local production would limit the foreign exchange used in importation of goods.
Essenwa urged traders to see the exercise as a sacrifice toward developing the industrial sector of the country.
The Deputy Director said that the agency would continue to carry out raids on imported fruit juices and other unwholesome, fake and adulterated products until the health of the nation was safeguarded.
She used the opportunity to appeal to the Federal Government to reconsider deploying NAFDAC officials back to the seaports so that unwholesome products do not make it into the markets.