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[FINES & VIOLATIONS] NAFDAC DESTROYES GUINNESS’ EXPIRED RAW MATERIALS, DEMANDS N1BILLION FINE.

The National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday destroyed expired malt extract and glucose belonging to Guinness Nigeria Plc.

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Guinness has been given permission to destroy the expired raw materials belonging to them while we supervise.
“We have two products, the malt extracts in drums and glucose in packs. “We have worked for three days and I still see us working till the next one week said a NAFDAC official that spoke anonymously.

“On the first day, we had a simulation test with a truck of each of the materials to see how the process would go” he further reteirated.

About the quantity of raw materials to be destroyed, the staff said each truck had 18 bags for the glucose and another truck of 72 drums of malt extract.

“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.

Mr Ernest Abu, Manager at Guinness said “the exercise is based on a resolution between NAFDAC and Guinness. I am only on ground to ensure that the destruction goes 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.

The agency stated that the company had been involved in clandestine violations contrary to the rules, regulations and enactments of NAFDAC and consequently fined Guinness 1 (one) billion naira.

The fine 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 revalidation of expired products without authorisation 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 affect the integrity of Guinness’ raw materials.

Others were the poor documentation record and noncompliance 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 notarised 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 while some barrels had white papers on them with an `extend to’ dates that were not approved by NAFDAC.

In reaction, management of Guinness Nigeria had issued a release saying that they were not aware of their infringements.

“The management of Guinness Nigeria does not fully understand 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’’, the statement had said.

Guinness Nigeria says it has settled its dispute with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) following a one billion naira fine slammed on the multinational company.

In a statement issued on today Thursday 10th of march 2016, Guinness Nigeria said it terminated its court action against NAFDAC that was initially filed following the receipt by the company of a letter dated 9th November 2015 from NAFDAC which among others, imposed administrative charges of one billion naira (N1billion) on the company. The termination of the court action was predicated on the letter dated 15th February 2016 from NAFDAC to the company which was stated to “supercede the decisions contained in the Agency’s letter dated 9th November 2015”.

“Guinness Nigeria can now confirm that a Notice of Discontinuance of the court action instituted against the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Attorney General of the Federation has been filed.
“ Guinness Nigeria said.

Guinness Nigeria also agreed to pay administrative and service charges of N11.4Million to NAFDAC which covers the cost of the investigative inspection of raw materials carried out by the Agency as well as the supervision by NAFDAC of the destruction of the raw materials which would be carried out by Guinness Nigeria.

Guinness Nigeria is home to some of the most iconic brands in Nigeria including Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. As part of the Diageo group of companies, Guinness Nigeria operates to the highest standard of quality in its production and processes, being guided not only by Nigerian but global best practices.

“Guinness Nigeria acknowledges the support received from the Honourable Minister of Health and from the former Director-General and senior management of NAFDAC towards the amicable resolution of the matter and expresses its commitment to maintaining and fostering a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with NAFDAC,” the statement read.

Compiled by: Jimmy Adesanya

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