Tuesday, February 16, 2016 9:02 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and Rapid Response Squad, RRS, today sealed up a frozen fish depot belonging to Haano Industries Limited on Oba Akran Road, on suspicion it was selling unwholesome fish to members of the public.
The company at 114 Oba Akran Road, Ikeja was stormed on Monday by the operatives of the RRS following a tip off from sources that the company was revalidating its products expiry dates.
This informed the cordoning off of the cold room on Monday evening by the operatives to forestall the contamination of the site of evidence as well as for officials of the Ministry of Health to inspect the cold room today.
The officials, who were at the cold room, inspected four cold rooms of the company containing several tons of fish before sealing up the company.
The officials who were led by Mr Kuforiji Adebayo, an Environmental Health Officer in the Lagos State Ministry of Health stated that the State Government was sealing off the cold room to pave way for thorough laboratory investigations of the fish found in the cold room.
“This place is being sealed up for health analysis. The samples of the consignment being taken are for laboratory analysis. What we have met on ground is highly suggestive of the fact that there are questionable practices.
“What has been established is that there is fraud. We have found that the company is revalidating the expiry of its products. As a responsive and responsible government, we would not fold our arms and allow unwholesome fish to be sold to our citizens.”
“What we have seen indicates the condition of the fishes before they were frozen were not okay, 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.”
The Fish Manager, Sabir Alli, said the stickers found littering in the lobby of the cold rooms fell off because of the shifting of fish cartons to create space for the accommodation of new consignment.
He pointed out that the company was not revalidating its product expiry dates, adding that the products that were to expire in March 2016 would be sold off before expiry date.
According to the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, the police got a tip off two weeks ago that Haano Industries Limited was changing the expiry dates of its products but decided to wait and monitor the activities of the company in order to catch them in the act.
“We got a call from our source 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.
“Our source within the company indicated that the revalidation of the expiry date was done in the lobby of the cold room and corridor, and that is why the place was littered with expired and new stickers. Police would liaise with the Lagos State Ministry of Health to carry out further test so that we can get to the bottom of this,” she stated.