NIGERIA Customs Service (NCS) officials have revealed that six containers of poisonous Iranian Shirin Asal tomato paste have arrived at Nigerian ports for distribution into local markets and into the food chain.
According to sources at the ports, the six containers arrived at Nigeria’s port in Lagos on a ship named Investment Limited and was waiting for clearance before it was spotted. NCS officials have thus asked port authorities to impound it and prevent the paste from going on sale across Nigeria.
One clearing agent said: “We heard that the tomato paste is poisonous but it arrived at the ports and might get cleared except the customs liaise with other government agencies at the ports. You know that most of these government agencies operate independently at the ports.
“The six containers contain products that fall under the jurisdiction of cargoes examined by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac) . So, if Nafdac does not synergise with customs, some of them might just find their way into our markets.”
However, the NCS has issued instructions to all customs commands, warning that all efforts must be put in place to impound the poisonous paste. They have been directed to put appropriate mechanisms in place to debar entry of the said paste and liaise with relevant agencies to forestall distribution and consumption.