The president of National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Comrade Oyelekan Lateef, has called on the  Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to guard against the importation of substandard anti-coronavirus materials into the country.

At the just-concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, Lateef, said that in the face of the closure of the country’s borders and ongoing coronavirus, the federal government should prevail on  SON and NAFDAC to ensure the upgrading of the standard of locally produced items in accordance with international standards.

Leadership reports that Oyelekan lamented that Nigeria has been turned into a dumping ground for foreign products, noting that such importation can be curbed through the upgrading of standard and proper monitoring of the nation’s borders.

He said that the federal government’s backward integration policy had started yielding positive results in the sector as Nigeria can now boast of companies producing tomato paste using 100 per cent local raw materials.

The unionist added that local factory had been able to create 3,000 jobs, saying that, “as we have often said, Nigeria has no reason to import finished food products as our companies have the capacity to support the local needs. The tomato factory in Adamawa presently provides jobs for over 3000 workers. That is the advantage of supporting local production.”

As a way of sustaining the progress recorded in the food and beverage industry, Oyelekan called on Federal Government to instruct the regulatory bodies for better service delivery to check against the importation of harmful finished products.

He said the reason why FG must instruct the agencies to tackle the flooding of Nigerian markets with various imported materials is that Nigeria has the capability for self-sufficient in food, beverages, wines, and others if given the chance.

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