BY CHIOMA OBINNA & NKIRUKA NNOROM
LAGOS — A Chinesebased company, Shijiazhuang Qixiang Chemical Co. Ltd, has been exposed over alleged exportation of sand-like toxic waste in place of caustic soda to unsuspecting Nigerian importer, Christo Ventures Ltd, in Lagos.
According to reports, the Nigerian importer had placed an order for 10 by 20ft containers of caustic soda (NaOH) from the Chinese company, but to the Christo’s amazement, the consignment was in contrast with what it expected.
Christo Ventures Ltd is said to have been a chemical importer recognised by NAFDAC and has a current permit to import, N0. 1300280 of 2013 with the item, caustic soda listed as N0.15 on the permit.
However, luck ran out of the Chinese firm when the officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, upon examination during its routine joint physical checks at the Sifax Bonded Terminal on June 7 2013, observed that the physical characteristic of the consignment was in contrast with the expected caustic soda that usually appears in pearls.
The suspicion led the agency to draw samples from three of the 10 containers for further laboratory analysis.
Fortunately, the result of the analysis showed that the substance shipped to Christo Ventures by the Chinese company was not caustic soda, contrary to both parties’ agreement.
Reacting to the development, NAFDAC Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, who was represented by a director in the agency, Mrs. Hauwa Keri, told newsmen that the sand-like substance, which could be re-extracted to get hard drugs, could also constitute serious hazards to the environment as well as security risk.
On his part, Managing Director of Christo Ventures, Christian Udeh, who alleged that he was duped by the Chinese company said the had invested over N30 million in the business.