The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted six containers of ‘poisonous’ tomato paste branded as Shirin Asal My Tomato after they arrived the seaports for onward clearance into the market.
This was disclosed in an internal memo to all customs commands entitled “Importation of expired Iranian tomato paste” with reference number NCS/T&T/I&E/021/S.112/Vol.71., and signed by the Deputy Comptroller General, Tariffs & Trade.
According to the memo, the six containers of expired and low-quality Iranian tomato paste arrived at the nation’s seaports via a ship named M.T.V Investment Limited and could get cleared by other government agencies which operate independently at the ports. The NCS has thus alerted other government agencies, particularly the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), urging them to work with the service to ensure the poisonous tomatoes do not get to the market.
The memo, which said the tomato paste is harmful to human health, called on the staff of NCS to do all it takes to prevent the products from entering the markets. “Consequently, all Customs Area Controller (CAC) are directed to put an appropriate mechanism in place to debar entry of the said paste and liaise with relevant agencies to forestall distribution and consumption,” the memo read in part.
The expired tomato paste is manufactured by Shirin Asal Food Productions, Iran, which exports various food products to over 65 countries around the world.