The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has seized expired products worth more than N5 million from shops in Minna.
Hajiya Hauwa Yusuf, State Coordinator (Niger 1), SON, said on Saturday in Minna that some of the products had expired seven years ago, but were still being sold to unsuspecting consumers.
She made the declaration at a ceremony where SON presented the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) certificate to Kiara Rice Mills located in Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger.
Yusuf listed products seized to include teas, chocolate drinks, juices, yoghurt, biscuits, coffee, margarine, milk, bath soaps and gels, body and face creams, packaged powdered beans, and maize, amongst others.
“We went to some sachet water industries and seized their water filters and pipes which were overgrown with algae.
“We cannot allow such sachet water producers to continue to use those filters to filter water for the public to consume.
“We also seized stickers of a reputable product from another manufacturer who intended to use them to market his fake or substandard products,’’ she said.
Yusuf expressed concern at the high rate of circulation of expired, uncertified, unregistered and substandard products in market places.
“It is worrisome that the Nigerian market is still flooded with expired, uncertified, unregistered, and substandard products regularly used by undiscerning citizens.
“Most of these products that are being seized have expired for as long as seven years and they are still in circulation in markets,’’ she said.
Yusuf assured that SON had stepped up its compliance action to ensure that markets were sanitised of expired and substandard products.
“We will make sure that every product that is not up to standard or expired will not be sold in the market,’’ she said.
Similarly, Alhaji Sale Babaji, Director, North Central zone of SON, enjoined the public to always inform the organisation about expired or unregistered products in market places.
He explained that such information was necessary to enable SON to apprehend those involved, prosecute them and destroy the products to safeguard public health.
Expired beverages, cosmetics among others confiscated by SON recently in Minna.
Babaji represented SON’s Director-General, Malam Farouk Salim, while making the appeal at the presentation of the MANCAP certificate to Kiara Rice Mills for adhering to standard.
Babaji observed that SON’s officers often faced challenges in discharging their duties.
“Confiscation costs SON a lot of money and sometimes we are attacked and our cars are vandalised when we go out to confiscate fake, expired or substandard products.
“That is why we are appealing to the public to inform us about these products when they see them in the markets so that we can act fast,’’ he said.
He also cautioned food processors and vendors to desist from using toxic chemicals as preservatives to improve the aesthetics of their food items.
SON urged all Nigerians to patronise only SON-certified made-in-Nigeria products with the MANCAP logo.
It urged all manufacturers in Niger to submit their products for MANCAP certification to ensure increased patronage and to avoid facing legal action.