From Olanrewaju Lawal Birnin, Kebbi

The National Agency for Food and  Drugs Administration and Control( NAFDAC) Kebbi State office, has warned  traders to guard against unregistered, expired goods and renew their licenses.

The state coordinator of the agency, Alhaji Muyideen Sulaiman, gave the warning in Birnin Kebbi, during a stakeholders meeting with the leadership of traders from the 21 local governments.

Table and sachet water producers and Small Scale and Medium Enterprise (MSME), were part of the programme   designed to  sensitize stakeholders on the need to register with the agency, desist from trade  on expired and unregistered products in Kebbi markets.

In his  address, Suleiman warned market leaders from shielding offenders, noting that it  was a criminal act which attracts penalty. 

“Sometimes they unleash armed thugs to disrupt our operations in the market. 

 “We have discovered that the traders are in the habit of re-bagging expired products, which constitutes serious health hazards to unsuspecting members of the public. Therefore, the agency is there to protect consumers by not allowing such unsavory acts to continue,”he said.

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 He advised  that warehouses  must be adequately ventilated for the safety of the products and the consumers, adding that  some products cannot  withstand excessive heat and so keeping them for a long time in such condition would jeopardize their originality.

 “So, if exposed to heat, the products lose the fortifications and even become toxic, if consumed, can cause diseases like cancer, liver and heart problems.

 “ Every warehouse owner must register their stores so that our officers will  properly inspect  the facilities and certify them to be safe for, otherwise they will get them sealed,” he said.

While lamenting the sharp practices of MSMEs, Suleiman urged them to always notify the agency of their relocation to new sites before they continue production, stressing that such action could incur  the wrath of the agency.

He charged  them to use the window period opened for MSMEs to register their products to avoid unnecessary penalties for late license renewal, from January to March, 2024.

Other officers, who spoke at the forum were Mr. Benjamin Kusuma, Mallam Salihu Auta, Ahmad Aliyu Aji. They highlighted the dangers of expired products, usage of dangerous items such as saccharine as sweetener, bromide for ripening, viagra and other sex enhancing drugs (Kayan Mata), as well as chemical spray on grains for longevity, which were dangerous to health.