Poisonous Cassava: NAFDAC To Sensitise Farmers, Food Outlets In Kogi, Ondo

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says arrangements are on to sensitive farmers in Kogi and Ondo on how to handle food chain from the farms to consumers’ table.

The NAFDAC Director, Special Duties, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, who spoke in Abuja on Sunday, said operators of fast food outlets in both states would also be trained.

Reports says that the sensitization is coming on the heels of the death of nine people after consuming “amala’’ meal made from poisonous cassava flour.
The incident occurred in Ogaminana, Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi state in November, 2016.

Jimoh explained that NAFDAC had carried out investigation into the incident with a view to addressing the problem.

He added that some people also consumed poisonous beans in some places.

Jimoh said the agency had taken statistics of farmers and operators of all food outlets in both states that would participate in a workshop to be organised by the agency.

According to him, they will be trained on how to handle critical aspects of food chain from the farms to consumers’ table.

“We shall train farmers on the best practices and the correct way of applying fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals for storage of their harvests.

“We will also teach farmers how to dry their produce because they often spread them on the express way where such are exposed to contamination and it is hazardous to the health of members of the public.

“Though, this is not part of the mandate of NAFDAC as we deal mainly with processed foods, but we cannot close our eyes in a matter that affects peoples’ health,’’ he said.

No Plastic Rice in Nigeria- NAFDAC

The NCS CG, represented by its Deputy Comptroller-General, Mr. Umar Ilya, held on Thursday in Abuja, a joint press briefing with the acting Director-General of National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, on the outcome of laboratory tests conducted on the confiscated plastic rice allegedly imported into the country.

At the event, Oni explained that no plastic rice was imported into the country.
She, however, said the seized rice was “contaminated with microorganisms above permissible limit.”

“Based on the above laboratory result, the product is not plastic but rice contaminated with micro-organisms above permissible limit, hence the seized rice consignment is unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption. The consignment upon handover by the Nigeria Customs Service shall be destroyed”, she said

While explaining the circumstances surrounding the alleged plastic rice, Ilya explained that said the Customs Services responded to a security alert issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser on the importation of plastic rice into the country.

He said, “We have seized over 40,000 bags of rice so far since the ban on importation of rice through the land borders. Those are the bags of rice that are being shared to the IDPs camps. But that is after we have tested and certified them suitable for consumption.

“We enjoin transporters to reject moving such products, as under the law, both smuggled products and the means of conveyance are liable to seizure. We will rely on the synergy with NAFDAC, and other agencies of government to ensure that smuggled  and unhygienic products  are not allowed in Nigeria”.

NAFDAC Destroys Trucks Of Expired Raw Materials Belonging To Guiness Nigeria PLC

The National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Wednesday destroyed expired malt extract and glucose belonging to Guinness Nigeria Plc.

The destruction took place at a dump site at Otta, Ogun.

A NAFDAC staff on site, who preferred anonymity, said, “this is a case which has been concluded.

Guinness has been given permission to destroy the expired raw materials belonging to them while we supervise.

“We have two products, the malt extracts in drums and glucose in packs. “We have worked for three days and I still see us working till the next one week.

“On the first day, we had a simulation test with a truck of each of the materials to see how the process would go.’’

On the quantity of raw materials to be destroyed, the staff said “each truck has 18 bags for the glucose and another truck of 72 drums of malt extract.

“We destroyed five trucks of malt extract yesterday, with each containing 72 drums of malt extract and 10 trailers of glucose with each containing 18 bags.

“Today, we are here with five trucks of the drums of malt extract and 10 trailers of the bags of glucose and we have about 2,600 of the drums.

Mr Ernest Abu, Manager at Guinness said “the exercise is based on a resolution between NAFDAC and Guinness. I am only on ground to ensure that the destruction goes according to acceptable safety standards.’’

NAFDAC had on Nov. 9, 2015, written a letter on `Payment of Administrative Charges for Various Clandestine Violations’ to the Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc.


The agency stated that the company had been involved in clandestine violations contrary to the rules, regulations and enactments of NAFDAC and consequently fined Guinness one billion naira.

The fine was for administrative charges for all the destruction carried out by the company without authorization and supervision of NAFDAC.

The letter said some of the regulatory infractions included, “All the revalidation of expired products without authorisation and supervision of the agency.

It also included the “failure to secure the gates of the warehouse as it is permanently opened to intrusion and exposure to the elements and rodents which invariably affect the integrity of Guinness’ raw materials.

Others were the poor documentation record and noncompliance with conditions contained in the certificate of the re-validated malt extract.

This required the storage of the items in cool and dry place and elimination of exposure to sunlight.

In view of the above, NAFDAC mandated Guinness to disclose all warehouses in the country and submit inventory level of the stock.

Other included the submission of a written voluntary consent of forfeiture for destruction of the expired and re-validated raw materials discovered in the warehouse.

Also, the submission of a notarised undertaking to comply with all the guidelines, rules, regulations and enactments of the agency and to refrain from any future violations was required.

A source at NAFDAC had told NAN that the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC had gone on site to inspect the warehouse in question and discovered acts that violated NAFDAC’s mandate.


The company was subsequently fined and told to comply within two weeks of receipt of the letter sent to them.

However, an investigation by NAN had revealed that the packs of most of the raw material in the warehouse inspected by NAFDAC were covered by dust and some of the packs of sugar were torn and open.

Some blue barrels of the malt extract had expired best before/due dates of 04/2015 and 06/2015 while some barrels had white papers on them with an `extend to’ dates that were not approved by NAFDAC.

In reaction, management of Guinness Nigeria had issued a release saying that they were not aware of their infringements.

“The management of Guinness Nigeria does not fully understand the basis for the computation of the administrative charges or the particular regulations alleged to have been infringed.

`We are in discussions with NAFDAC with a view to gaining better clarity on the issue and hopefully have it resolved.

“We remain committed to working with NAFDAC and other regulatory authorities.

“This is in furtherance of our responsibility to produce and market quality products and look forward to being able to resolve the issue working in partnership with NAFDAC’’, the statement had said.