A lawmaker, Muhammed Kazaure Gudaji (APC), has alleged that the Coca-cola drinks produced in Nigeria are made with borehole water.
Gudaji who is a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing the Kazaure/Roni/Gwiwa/Yankwashi Federal Constituency of Jigawa State said this while speaking before the House of Reps on Wednesday.
In a video currently buzzing the net, Gudaji who was addressing the house said:
“Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue about Coca cola, Fanta and others.
“Quite alright, I am with the minority leader and whatever minority says is true.
“Yesterday, I was driving from Kaduna and I bought Coke. The type of Coke I see in this country is totally different from the Coke I bought in the Niger Republic last week.
“Unfortunately, when you go to neighboring Katsina State to buy Coke, Fanta or Sprite, you will notice a difference. Maybe they use those borehole water and some chemical and allow people to consume.
“That was what I observed because seriously when you taste the coke, sometimes you’ll taste only water and gas with a little sugar and when you taste another one, you will taste something like borehole water.”
Hon. Gudaji called on the Speaker so take the issue seriously, stressing that it is the responsibility of agencies like NAFDAC and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to make sure they have a serious committee on the production of these drinks. Watch the video below:
Hon. Ganduji’s observations are not far fetched from the recent court case which highlighted concerns that locally made soft drinks in Nigeria may be considered unsafe for human consumption elsewhere.
Nigerians were outraged after reports emerged that the company that manufactures Fanta and Sprite in the country, the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC), has been ordered by a court to place warning labels on its products, stating that they are unsafe when consumed alongside vitamin C.
The drinks are said by critics to contain high levels of the preservative benzoic acid and the colouring sunset yellow.
The case has caused deepening concern in the country where Fanta, Sprite, and Coca-Cola are probably the most widely consumed soft drinks. It has prompted discussions about accepted standards in Nigeria.
Although benzoic acid is widely used as an antibacterial and antifungal preservative in acidic foods and beverages to extend their shelf life, studies have shown that the chemical can cause health problems in certain circumstances.
Moreover, the Nigerian Medical Association says it is impossible to make a judgment about acceptable levels of benzoic acid without conducting a local study looking at health implications over a long period of time.
In response to the public outcry, the ministry of health in a statement reassured Nigerians that the drinks are safe for human consumption.
However, the ministry advises that medicines are taken with water to help “prevent unexpected drug-food interactions.”
Although the government has not spoken of enforcement, it “encourages” all bottling companies to include advisory warnings on all relevant products.