Lagos seizes N700 million worth of expired fish

OFFICIALS OF THE NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CONTROL (NAFDAC)  SEALING UP A FISH COLDROOM AT 114, OBA AKRAN ROAD, IKEJA IN LAGOS STATE
OFFICIALS OF THE NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CONTROL (NAFDAC) SEALING UP A FISH COLDROOM AT 114, OBA AKRAN ROAD, IKEJA IN LAGOS STATE

Operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command and officials of the State Ministry of Health on Tuesday sealed off a fish depot for warehousing expired fish at Oba Akran Road, Ikeja, Lagos.

The depot, belonging to an Indian company, Premier Fish Product Limited, allegedly stored​ over N700​ ​million worth of expired fish.

The company had been under surveillance for about two weeks, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The lid was finally blown yesterday by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, following a tip off from sources that the company was revalidating the expiry dates of the stock,” the police statement said.‎

The Lagos State health officials on Tuesday inspected four cold rooms of the company containing several tons of fish before sealing off the company.

An environmental health officer, Kuforiji Adebayo, who led officials from the Ministry of Health, said the state government was sealing off the cold room to pave way for thorough laboratory test of the fish found in the cold room.

“This place is being sealed off for health analysis,” Mr. Adebayo said.

“The samples of the consignment being taken are for laboratory analysis. What we have met on ground physically is highly suggestive of the fact that there are questionable practices here as most of the fish has expired.

“What we have established here is a deceit and fraudulent activity,” he said.

Mr. Adebayo also said they discovered the company was revalidating the expiry date of its products.‎

‎”What we have seen indicates the condition of the fish was not okay before being frozen. That is why there are blood stains in the cartoon of the fish.

“If the labels are being changed now, the impression it leaves is that the labels might have been changed before the investigations,” he said.

The company management, however, insisted it was not revalidating its products’ expiry dates, adding that the products – which are to expire in March 2016 – would be sold off before expiry date.

According to the depot manager, Sabir Alli, the stickers that littered the corridor to the cold rooms fell off because of the shifting of fish cartoons to create space for accommodation of new consignment.

The spokesperson of Lagos State Police Command, Dolapo Badmus, confirmed the incident, saying a staff of the company alerted the police of the development.

“We got a call that they were revalidating the products yesterday and we decided to swing into action.

“This was confirmed by a lot of the stickers found in the lobby with March 2016 as expiry date,” said Ms. Badmus.

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  • Spoken word

    na wa o

    • aisha ani

      As if we don’t have enough problems, these ones want to start killing off Nigerians with expired fish.

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  • Hairy Pie

    Na their ways. Indians are corrupt to the hilt. Just a pity Nigeria provides a breeding ground for them to perpetuate their evil practices. Forget all the hot air from the authorities, lets wait and watch if they won’t go scot-free after greasing a few dirty palms. Nonsense.

  • Matthew Ikponmwonba

    This is very unwholesome for frozen foods business. The truth is that this nefarious act has been going on for years and it is mostly perpetrated by the Indians and Lebanese with Indians being the worst culprits for this.

    Believe it or not, this sharp practices cannot happen in their country without the relevant local authorities or agencies clamping them down. Back in Nigeria, they have been outsmarting our various Regulatory, Inspection & Control Agencies such as F.D.F who may not be privileged to such information of these unscrupulous activities.

    I think it is high time the Federal Government stop allocating import quota and granting licences to foreigners to import fish into Nigeria. Instead, they should be allowed to invest in the area of aqua fish farming in commercial scale as a way of developing agricultural sector.

    Hence, import quota for frozen fish should only be granted to indigenous company operating in Nigeria, but who must also have the storage facilities and with necessary arrangement on ground that such indigenous firm will go into aqua fish farming or trawling as a way of promoting local content.

  • PolyGon2013

    Sai Ambode.

  • Rommel

    Probably imported with foreign currency sourced locally while repatriating profits