Nigeria is a great country with a
lot of consumer goods across the broad spectrum of the manufacturing industry.
There are some products that are produced within our shores while some are
imported from across the globe by both renowned international and national
brands. Recently, there have been a lot of revelations about the quality of the
products available to Nigerian consumers from within and outside the country.
I heard a story some years ago about
the export of some alcoholic beverages from Nigeria to other parts of the world
because it was believed that the quality of Nigerian beers were better than the
one brewed in other regions of the world. It sounded nice that a finished
product is being exported asides the traditional raw materials export.
Recent reports about Made in
Nigeria edible products being discredited in Europe. The situation is both
alarming and very disturbing. Some certified consumables by the National Food
Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have brought untold ridicule to the
country. This makes one question the integrity of the products, the
manufacturing companies and the government agencies.
Possibly, many companies pay
their way through these government agencies while they keep expanding their
production capacity in the country. The unwholesome practices that abound in
the country makes it difficult to distinguish between the original products and
the counterfeited ones.
Unfortunately, Nigeria are accustomed
to damage control as a country; the media mostly get engaged to enlighten,
educate and re-awake consumer’s interest in the product and the brand. This is
usually after information have gone viral about the hazard of consuming these
products. It is pertinent to mention that some of the chemical substances used
in the manufacturing these items have adverse effect on the human anatomy over
time. It also causes economic misfortune and untimely death for many Nigerians.
Nigerians are not entitled to nursing illnesses for the profiteering sake of
Asides manufacturing products,
there are challenges with food production too. According to BusinessDay
newspaper of June 7, 2017, Odinaka Anudu and Josephine Okojie reported that the
European Union rejected 24 food products for not meeting the stipulated standard.
Major products rejected include groundnut, palm oil, sesame seed, beans.
Groundnut was rejected because it contained aflatocin, while palm oil had a
colouring agent that was carcinogenic. This is as a result of the extreme
application of chemicals on these crops which in turn is dangerous for human
health. BusinessDay summed it up by saying that many foods and finished
products of Nigerian origin are rejected in other continents on the account of
poor adherence to standards.
In another vein, poisonous substances
are being imported from other countries of the world for different reasons.
According to a comment in Business Day newspaper, Oluwadara Alegbeleye
mentioned that Nigeria is a major importer of rice from Asia. Due to the rapid
industrialization in that region the proximity of agricultural, smelting and
mining activities to planting regions are postulated to contribute massively to
the contamination of these rice. The United States Food and Drug Administration
warns that long-term exposure to high levels of Arsenic may predispose humans
to skin, bladder and lung cancers, as well as heart disease. Other adverse
health effects include kidney damage, bone defects, hypertension and cancer
have been attributed to lead, cadmium and mercury toxicity.
We have got to a stage where we
import and export deadly consumables. This will also impact our economy
negatively because many Nigerians in the diaspora might be denied access to
their ‘delicacies’ which is believed to be nutritious. There is a need for all
sectors of the economy to wake up to their responsibility in order to change the
ill-perception that has betide the country. Government agencies like NAFDAC, Standard
Organization of Nigeria, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health must come
together to create a holistic team for effective quality control across board.
Also, civil societies, Agriculture Extension officers and the media must not
relent in their efforts to sensitize Nigerians about farm management practices,
farm produces and other products available to Nigerians. This is one of the
sure ways of increasing the life expectancy of our country as a whole.
Labels: Articles, Brands, Exportation, Importation, life expectancy, Man, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Mines and Industry, NAFDAC, Olutayo Irantiola, SON