By G9ija

The National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) Wednesday in Lagos warned gas dealers against selling prohibited refrigerant products responsible for Ozone layer depletion.

The Agency’s Deputy Director, Agro Chemicals and Controlled Chemicals Division, Chemical Evaluation and Research Directorate, Dr Festus Ukadike, gave the warning after it raided gas shops in the Ebute-Metta area of the State.

Ukadike said those that must trade in refrigerant gases must be certified by the agency either as an importer or retailer.

He said prohibited refrigerant gases included R124, 406, R123 and R12.

“These are banned refrigerant gases and nobody should be allowed to bring them into Nigeria. You will not be permitted; you will not be certified to deal in them.

“If you are found with them, you will be arrested and prosecuted. The operation carried out on Wednesday is part of the agency’s efforts to bring everybody involved in chemicals into regulation.

“The operation was targeted at stakeholders, people that deal in chemicals, especially refrigerant gases. We visited their shops to ensure we bring them into regulation.

“We want to know what they are doing or selling, especially those who do not have Listing Certificate; those without permit to import or sell chemicals,’’ he said.

Ukadike said no-one was arrested during the raid, stressing that the traders assisted NAFDAC officials to carry out their inspection of shops visited.

He said the traders union agreed to visit NAFDAC to establish areas they were to operate and chemicals not to deal in.

Ukadike said the agency would continue to educate and enlighten the traders on the risks involved in trading on banned chemicals and gases.

In his reaction, Chairman of Cooling Parts Association, Ebute-Metta Mainland Area, Mr Arize Chuke, said members appreciated the visit by NAFDAC officials to ensure that association members did the right things.

Chuke stressed that NAFDAC should constantly educate association members on banned chemicals and gases.

“Most of us are traders; we do not know about this Listing Certificate NAFDAC talked about. We only plead with the agency to always educate us and give us seminars on products we are dealing in.

“We want to know banned products; we want to know the ones in vogue. If we know all these, we will do the right thing.

“As traders, we buy from importers. We do not know the risks involved and we want to know.

“We are going to the NAFDAC office to meet with its officials so that all of us will be on the same page,’’ Chuke said.