By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) has said that it will soon make public the result of an assessment it conducted in bakery facilities in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
NAFDAC’s Director in charge of the Federal Capital Territory. (FCT), Mrs. Clementina Anyakora, said the agency had undertaken an inspection of all bakeries operating in the FCT to find out their compliance in respect of the ban on use of potassium bromate in bread making.
Speaking at a one-day sensitisation workshop organised by NAFDAC on Wednesday in Abuja, Anyakora said that during the inspection, officials of the agency collected bread samples from all the bakeries in Abuja.
“We have carried out a survey on the compliance of bakers with the ban on using killer potassium bromate in making bread and we will soon make public the result of our findings,” she said.
The NAFDAC director said that the essence of collecting the bead samples was to check if potassium bromate was being illegally used for bread production.
According to Anyakora, NAFDAC is determined to enforce compliance in the country.
She said that an inspection carried out by the agency within the capital had shown lack of commitment to basic hygiene practice by most bread bakers.
She said that some of the bakeries were so dirty and unkempt.
“It is shocking what some people do after registering and obtaining NAFDAC numbers. They fail to maintain hygiene standards. Some will turn their bakeries into bedrooms,” she said.
Anyakora said the agency had deemed it necessary to embark on regular sensitisation workshops and interface with bakers association, because bread had become a staple food for most Nigerian homes.
She however added that the illegal use of taste improvers like bromide had become a matter for concern.
He enjoined participants at the workshop to pay proper attention to issues of quality and safety as it pertains to baking of bread.
The chairman of the Abuja Master Bakers Association, Ishaq Abdulraheem, complained of the influx of substandard bread from neighborhouring states bordering FCT.
He expressed worry that producers of these poor quality bread usually take advantage of the cost differentials on more quality products in the FCT to bring in their wares.
Abdulraheem also complained of multiple taxation and harassment by various agencies, saying that the practice is making operations of his members difficult.
“Sometimes this year, our bakaries were visited by NAFDAC and samples were taken, up till now, no further information is given as to that effect,” he said.