An urgent public alert has been raised by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, over an alleged importation of fake, substandard, cancer-causing and killer tomato paste into the country.
The lower chamber has therefore mandated its Committees on Health Services and Drug and Narcotics to investigate the matter, regarding it as an issue of urgent public importance.
The matter was raised by Rep. Ossai Ossai (Delta-PDP) at plenary, and was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote. Moving the motion, Ossai explained that there had been an increase in the importation of fake and substandard foods into Nigeria, particularly the killer tomato paste.
The lawmaker while moving the motion had referred to a newspaper publication of May 9, 2016, which alleged that there was a cabal who had boasted that nothing can stop them from importing the fake and substandard tomato paste into the country.
Rep Ossai expressed worry that the development was an issue of concern to Nigerians, reporting that a mafia group is collaborating with a few indigenous manufacturers in Nigeria who are being used as cover-up.
The “Fake, Substandard, Cancer-causing Tomato Paste” has flooded the Nigerian markets and is being sold at low prices.
This development has therefore compelled the closing down of many and genuine indigenous tomato paste processing companies in Nigeria, which has also resulted in the retrenchment of over 50 per cent of their staff.
The house directed the committees to report findings back to it within three weeks for further legislative action.
“Section 5 subsections (a) to (e) and (I) of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Act has given NAFDAC the onerous task of ensuring that fake and substandard food items are not found within the Nigerian markets.
“This is in conformity with Order XViii Rules 160 (2) (n) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives.”