The National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had on Wednesday, embarked on massive destruction of expired malt extract and glucose belonging to Guinness Nigeria Plc, at a dump site at Otta, Ogun state.
An anonymous NAFDAC staff confirmed that Guinness has been given permission to destroy the expired raw materials belonging to the company strictly on NAFDAC supervision. Noting that they have worked for three days in a row, to carry out the bid. The alleged expired products include malt extracts in drums and glucose in packs.
The NAFDAC staff also narrated the simulation test carried out on the truck of materials the first day, to check how the process would go, quoting each truck was stocked with 18 bags of glucose and another truck with 72 drums of malt extract.
We destroyed five trucks of malt extract yesterday, with each containing 72 drums of malt extract and 10 trailers of glucose with each containing 18 bags. Today, we are here with five trucks of the drums of malt extract and 10 trailers of the bags of glucose and we have about 2,600 of the drums.
The Manager of Guinness, Mr. Ernest Abu, resolved that he represented the company at the destruction site to ensure adequate disposition of the expired products according to acceptable safety standards.
NAFDAC had on Nov. 9, 2015, written a letter on ‘Payment of Administrative Charges for Various Clandestine Violations’ to the Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc.
According to the food and drug agency, the beverage company had been involved in clandestine violations contrary to the rules, regulations and enactments of NAFDAC and consequently fined Guinness N1 billion.
The fine, they said, was for administrative charges for all the destruction carried out by the company without authorization and supervision of NAFDAC. The letter said some of the regulatory infractions included, “All the re-validation of expired products without authorization and supervision of the agency.”
It also included the “failure to secure the gates of the warehouse as it is permanently opened to intrusion and exposure to the elements and rodents” which invariably affects the integrity of Guinness’ raw materials.
Others were the poor documentation record and non-compliance with conditions contained in the certificate of the re-validated malt extract.
This required the storage of the items in cool and dry place and elimination of exposure to sunlight. In view of the above, NAFDAC mandated Guinness to disclose all warehouses in the country and submit inventory level of the stock.
Others included the submission of a written voluntary consent of forfeiture for destruction of the expired and re-validated raw materials discovered in the warehouse.
Also, the submission of a notarized undertaking to comply with all the guidelines, rules, regulations and enactments of the agency and to refrain from any future violations was required.
A source at NAFDAC had told NAN that the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC had gone on site to inspect the warehouse in question and discovered acts that violated NAFDAC’s mandate.
The company was subsequently fined and told to comply within two weeks of receipt of the letter sent to them. However, an investigation by NAN had revealed that the packs of most of the raw material in the warehouse inspected by NAFDAC were covered by dust and some of the packs of sugar were torn and open.
Some blue barrels of the malt extract had expired best before/due dates of 04/2015 and 06/2015 while some barrels had white papers on them with an ‘extend to’ dates that were not approved by NAFDAC.
However, the management of Guinness Nigeria had issued a release saying that they were not aware of their infringements or the basis for the computation of the administrative charges or the particular regulations alleged to have been infringed.
We are in discussions with NAFDAC with a view to gaining better clarity on the issue and hopefully have it resolved.
We remain committed to working with NAFDAC and other regulatory authorities. “This is in furtherance of our responsibility to produce and market quality products and look forward to being able to resolve the issue working in partnership with NAFDAC