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FCCPC Cracks Down on Warehouse in Ekiti Over Deceptive Batch Numbers, Fake SON Barcoding

FCCPC has sealed a warehouse in Ado-Ekiti for distributing deceptive goods and launched an investigation to trace products to manufacturer.

A warehouse in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, has been sealed off by Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) for distributing goods the commission described as deceptive and misleading batch numbers, fake SON barcoding, among others.

Speaking with journalists at the premises of the warehouse in Ado-Ekiti, Director of Surveillance and Investigations of FCCPC, Boladale Adeyinka, said the agency acted on intelligence report that their activities violate consumers’ safety. 

According to her, during inspection of products in the warehouse, they discovered obnoxious business practices that are contrary to the FCCPA Act were being carried out. 

While calling on Nigerians to give out intelligence report on any harmful business practices in the state, she said investigations will still continue to trace the products to the manufacturer and hold them accountable. 

Her words: “The commission received an intelligent tip regarding what is going on within this business premises and we did our surveillance activities to scope the intelligence. 

Upon reasonable suspicions that those activities going on here violate consumers’ safety, violate the provisions of the FCCPA Act, particularly on safety of consumers’ product that are being sold here.

“The quality of the product that are being sold here, as well as the labeling standard in requirement for such vast moving consumers’ product. We decided to inspect the premises and to search the premises and confirm such obnoxious business practices that are contrary to the FCCPA Act here in Ado Ekiti.

“This business is a big warehouse, it has about four or five warehouses that are stocked with vast moving consumers goods. We discovered that the batch numbers on the way bill of the supply from the company and the product that were offloaded were not the same.

“None of the batch numbers identified on the waybill matches the actual products that are in the warehouse. We are unable to confirm the source of those products as the products itself do not have manufacturer’s batch number, even though it has expiry dates on them.

“We met with the supplier in the factory who identified himself as the sales rep. We also interviewed the driver that brought the product allegedly from the company. They both identified the way bill they were given from the company and all the way bill information does not tally in any way with the product supplied to this business premises.

“We have reasonable suspicions that those products are not the products from the factory because the way bill is contrary to the actual product on ground. Again, the SON scan code that we used to verify the authenticity of the scanned SON numbers products authentication mark, declared the product invalid meaning that the product identification mark originally given to those products is not what is on the product in this premises.

“It confirms that such obnoxious practices are going on within this premises that we need to further investigate. Also, when a bag of rice is supposed to be 50kg, it weighed less than what it’s supposed to weigh.

“Additionally, this premises is a major distributor of these goods to sub-retail outlets in Ado Ekiti here. Our understanding is that these products purportedly conveyed from the factory has also been distributed to another major distributor and investigation continues from here.

“The immediate action after this is to summon all the stakeholders involved in the transportation, distribution, production, the storage from factory to this premises.

“With what is happening here, these products as we speak have not been received by the owner of the premises. It will be loaded back into the truck and will be taken to our destination to know who is responsible for those disparities of numbers because it must not go into the market.

“Product identification is for traceability, there is no way we can trace this product here to the manufacturer and therefore the safety of consumers cannot be guaranteed. I’m sure they have a lot of distributors, as we continue to investigate, there will be clarity on exactly how this is happening. 

“We sealed the premises to prevent products that are considered harmful from gaining access to consumers. We will evacuate all the substandard products.

“For Nigerians, please give us intelligence, watch out, continue to consume quality products made in Nigeria that you can verify. If there is suspicion, call us on our hotlines or go on our website and get information on how to get to us.

“To business enterprises, look out for conformity of batch numbers because they are important to trace the products to the manufacturer and hold him accountable.”

Gbenga Sodeinde

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