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NAFDAC shuts down 10 substandard bakeries, eight water factories in Rivers

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has taken its war against fake products to Bonny Island in Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State, closing 10 substandard and unregistered bakeries and eight table water factories.

NAFDAC in a statement signed on Tuesday, March 12, by its public relations officer, South-south Zone, Cyril Monye, described the feat as an unprecedented move to rid Rivers of fake and unwholesome products.

Speaking during the operation, NAFDAC Director, South-south Zone, Chukwuma Oligbo said that the action was initiated after the agency’s painstaking investigations and surveillance in line with consumers’ complaints from the Island concerning such bakeries and factories.

Oligbo said: “It was discovered that some of the quack bakeries were producing in ramshackle facilities made with woods and rusty corrugated iron sheets with inappropriate baking equipment while the workers were not properly kitted.

“The bread was stored in a very unhygienic manner with flies perching on them. Some of the bakeries also bear the names of popular bread in Port Harcourt.

“Most of the bakeries were not registered by NAFDAC and unregistrable because they cannot meet the minimum requirement for registration, while few that were registered by the agency have expired licences or have relocated from their initial place of registration in Port Harcourt to Bonny Island without notifying the agency for formal documentation and mandatory inspections.”

Oligbo further observed that some of the table water factories mostly involved in the production of sachet water were not using filtration equipment.

He said the agency discovered that a facility that was in production of bottled and jar water was manually filling the jars with a locally improvised machine instead of an automated process, which he said was the acceptable standard recommended by NAFDAC.

The zonal director urged those in default of their product license renewal to use the waiver magnanimously provided by the Director-General from January to March and renew their licenses.

He said that NAFDAC was always ready to guide producers in doing the right thing and warned that hard times awaited those, who intentionally flouted NAFDAC regulations.

The three-day operation took NAFDAC to the length and breadth of Finima and Bonny.

Pharmacies and Supermarkets were also inspected where various violations were discovered ranging from unregistered products and unsafe storage of injections.

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