By Ossom Raphael
The Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma disclosed to journalists that the arrest was a collaborative effort with the Nigeria Police following a tip off.
Aboloma, said Products found in the premises included household consumables imported by Julf Ventures Limited, adding that the discovery is coming two months after another twin three storey building belonging to the same company was discovered stocked with expired products, tampered labels with distorted expiry dates.
The DG who was represented by Director. Compliance, SON, Engr. Bede Obayi stated that substantial quantity of the substandard products had already left the warehouse, and promised that the agency would track them.
“We acted on the intelligence received from well meaning Nigerians. You can see the volume of expired products here and imagine the implication for our society in terms of health issues. “When somebody buys expired cream which active ingredient has expired, that may cause negative reactions on the skin”.
“We wish to assure Nigerians that we would carry out investigation on the products that have left the warehouse to different destinations all over the country with a view to withdrawing them from circulation”.
“Today, we were able to discover two other warehouses belonging to the same company based on a tip off by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to clampdown on the importer”, he said.
Aboloma described as disheartening for an importer to specialize in importing almost expired goods with the aim of dubiously extending the shelf life and sell to innocent Nigerians, which according to him, such products have negative health and economic implications.
“What we are seeing here today are various products littering the whole warehouses with poor storage conditions and the products are all either expired or almost expiring”, he further said.
He commended the Lagos State government for its prompt response in sealing up the entire building housing the initial discovery some months ago to prevent the products from further circulation, adding that SON would conduct due diligence on the ones recently discovered.
“This shows that this man is bent on continually doing the wrong thing. For him not to have declared other warehouses before now, clearly shows it is an act of criminality, in our opinion”.
He is tampering with the expiry dates and selling already expired products to unsuspecting Nigerian consumers”, he said, adding that more worrisome was the fact that the products were very high security risk products.
“ We have arrested him and handed him over to the police for further investigation and prosecution in line with the SON act,” he added.
The Director, Investigation and Enforcement, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Kingsley Ejiofor, expressed worry that substandard products continue to find their way through porous borders, condemning this nefarious and illicit trade by unscrupulous Nigerian importers.
He lauded the Nigeria Police Force and SON for clamping down on the importer while also calling for other hands to be on deck to check mate the influx of fake and substandard goods into the country.
Mr. Ejiofor, who queried the poor management of the warehouse urged Nigerians to always provide useful information to regulatory and security agencies.
“How can a person store very sensitive products for human consumption in such bad condition.
“This is unacceptable and we are going to take joint action with SON and other regulatory agencies. We need information to help us serve Nigerians better.