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‘Contraband’: NAFDAC Shuts Tomato Paste Distribution Outlet In Port Harcourt

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has sealed a warehouse where imported contraband tomato paste are stored for distribution in Port Harcourt.

The agency explained that the contraband tomato paste which is on the federal government’s list of contraband importation products in the country was allegedly imported and distributed by Integrated Wholesales Services Limited in Trans-Amadi Layout.

NAFDAC’s Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer, Adeniran Kazeem also confirmed the arrest of Mr Obiora John, the Managing Director of the company.

Obiora John allegedly removed the seal placed on his facility by the agency in November 2022.

He said; “Upon our interrogation, we noticed that the company removed the agency seal placed at the facility in November 2022 without the agency’s approval.

“The company’s accountant told us that the company had stopped the importation and distribution of contraband tomato paste since 2020, but we found out that the imported tomato paste seen at the facility was manufactured in 2022.

“We also found out from the company’s records that there have been importation and distribution of the products to date.”

Kazeem said the agency’s aim of raiding and sealing contraband drinks and food distribution companies in the country was to promote, encourage and create an enabling environment for local manufacturers.

Members of the public have been asked to stop patronizing the distributors of imported contraband products in stores and open market.

Kazeem added that the agency would curb the importation of illicit and contraband products into the country to save the economy.

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L-R : Jason Brantley, Vice President of John Deere; John Coumantaros, Chairman Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc; Sen. Abubakar Kyari, Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security ; Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Hon. Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security; and Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, during the working visit of the John Deere delegation to the Ministry in Abuja, on Friday, November 17, 2023.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen Abubakar Kyari, CON, says the production of 2,000 tractors in-country yearly would enhance food production, create jobs for Nigerian farmers, especially women and youth as well as achieving food and nutrition security in the country.

The Minister stated this while receiving in audience a delegation from John Deere led by its Vice President, Jason Braintley, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja today, Friday 17th, November, 2023. Also present were the Chairman and Directors of Flour Mills Nigeria, as well as Country Director of Tata Africa Services.

According to a press release signed by Ezeaja Ikemefuna Assistant Director, Information, Sen Abubakar Kyari noted that the visit was a follow-up to the meeting between Nigeria’s Vice President Ibrahim Shettima and top officials of John Deere at the recent World Food Prize Foundation held in lowa, USA.

He said that, when produced, government would not off-take the tractors but provide the enabling environment to make the tractors affordable at low-interest rate to Nigerian farmers and boost all-year round farming.

Sen Kyari pointed out there was need for farmers to form clusters or co-operatives to ensure that they have access to mechanization and pay instalmentally within a few years.

In his remarks, Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abudullahi, stressed the need to evaluate existing co-operatives and ascertain those that require support to enable them access the tractors when available. He also emphasized the importance of identifying crops most suitable for mechanization.

The Vice President of John Deere, Jason Braintley said that the company was exploring the feasibility of hiring, acquisition and production, in addition to after-sales services, supply of genuine spare parts and training of operators and mechanics.

The capacity of the tractors would range between 75 and 90 horse-power for use in different terrains in the country.

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FG Obtains $163m AfDB Loan To Boost Wheat Production- VP, Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has said the Federal Government had obtained $163 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support wheat production in the country.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Shettima stated this at the palace of the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sumaila Mera, when he paid a condolence visit to the Emirate and family of late Sheikh Abubakar Giro.

He re-affirmed the determination of the Tinubu administration to fulfill all its promises to Nigerians, particularly in the agricultural sector.

The vice-president also assured that food security would receive serious attention from the government.

“We have obtained $163 million loan from the African Development Bank to support wheat production. The scheme would be launched soon.

“We need 10,000 hectares of land in Kebbi State. But the scheme would be well executed in Jigawa State with a cultivation of 50,000 hectares of land to boost wheat production,” he said.

In his remarks, the Emir of Argungu, Mera, who prayed for the unity and progress of Nigeria, thanked President Tinubu and Vice-President Shettima for their support.

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Indomie Produced In Nigeria Safe For Consumption; Does Not Contain Ethylene Oxide- NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has declared Indomie noodles manufactured in Nigeria is safe for human consumption.

The agency said the noodles do not contain ethylene oxide, a colourless and odourless gas that is used to sterilise medical equipment and plastics. It is said to be a cancer-causing chemical

Health officials in Malaysia and Taiwan said they had detected ethylene oxide in Indomie’s special chicken flavour noodles.

Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC director-general, said the agency would begin random sample tests of the noodles from May 2.

Speaking with journalists on Thursday, the director-general said during the probe, samples of chicken flavoured instant noodles of various brands and the seasonings were drawn from the production facilities across the country.

She said the exercise was to ensure that the investigation was robust and cover other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria, besides Indomie.

She said the agency also visited markets and retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis.

“The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market,” she said.

“The samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our central laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.

“The technique using gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detector was deployed.

“A total of 114 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were received.

“We did not only analyze for ethylene oxide and its derivative 2-chloroethanol in the noodles and seasonings; we also analysed for other contaminants such as mycotoxins and heavy metals in the samples.

“Ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings.

“The level of mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit. Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat.”


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