By Sola Ogundipe
AGAINST the backdrop of the N1 billion sanctions imposed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, last week, management of Guinness Nigeria Plc, has expressed optimism, even as it reaffirmed commitment to deliver quality products through application of the highest standards of good manufacturing practice.
Speaking during a media interactive session weekend, the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, said on account of its ongoing engagement with NAFDAC, the issues at stake would be clarified and resolved in a short while.
“We take our responsibility to deliver quality products seriously. The meticulous and painstaking work, including rigorous quality assurance that precedes the final production of all our products, has a singular objective: to ensure that our consumers drink products that are healthy and comparable with similar products made by a Diageo facility anywhere else in the world,” Ndegwa affirmed.
Confirming receipt of the letter from NAFDAC, the Corporate Relations Director, Mr Sesan Sobowale, said the alleged infractions relate to a rented off-site warehouse where raw materials are stored. He said the raw materials store is not a production facility and that the quality of the company’s products was never an issue.
“NAFDAC insists that its authorisation is required before we can carry out the destruction of expired raw materials or indeed in the process of approval of new best-before date by the manufacturers of these raw materials, and we were in the process of engaging NAFDAC for clarifications and resolution of the issues before the private correspondence from NAFDAC to Guinness Nigeria was clandestinely passed to the media”, Sobowale stressed.
Also speaking, the company’s Supply Chain Director, Cephas Afebuameh, explained that there is an extensive and elaborate process by which basic raw materials are first converted during the brewing stage, with lots of critical control points, before the products are bottled and released to the market.
“Each of these painstaking steps is rigorously monitored for conformity with all necessary global standards which we regard as basic, as we always aspire to exceed the much higher standards that have been set internally by the Diageo Group.”
The high quality of products from Guinness Nigeria’s breweries, he said, “has been attested to repeatedly not only by NAFDAC but also by the Standards Organization of Nigeria, as well as the internal quality controls of the Diageo Group.”