Brewing giant, Guinness Nigeria Plc, has reaffirmed its commitment to continuously deliver quality products through application of the highest standards of good manufacturing practice.
The over-riding objective, according to the Managing Director, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, is to avail customers of world-class products and value for money. In so doing, Guinness will continue to maintain and improve the quality and efficiency that it has established in over 60 years of operations in Nigeria.
Speaking during a media interactive session in Lagos on Friday November 13, 2015, Ndegwa stated that the company consistently improves on the manufacturing process to “ensure that the quality of our products is top notch.” Continuous improvement in quality, Ndegwa stated, will remain a constant pursuit by the company.
According to Ndegwa, “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.”
He said the company’s conformity to the highest standards of quality have enabled the repeated re-certification of its products and procedures by some of the world’s leading certification organizations as the International Standards Organization (ISO) as well as the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON). The company received the ISO 9002:1994 quality standard in 2001 becoming the first brewery in West Africa to be so honoured.
Also speaking against the backdrop of reported sanction on the company by NAFDAC, Corporate Relations Director, Sesan Sobowale acknowledged the receipt of a letter from NAFDAC. He said the alleged infractions relate to a rented off-site warehouse where raw materials are stored; explaining that the said raw materials store is not a production facility and that the quality of its products was never in 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 a journalist at the Punch”, Sobowale stressed.
Cephas Afebuameh, the Supply Chain Director for the company 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.” Afebuameh said Guinness has over the years been actively developing and implementing new procedures and innovations, based on the imperative of improving efficiency across all areas of the organization.
Ndegwa reaffirmed that Guinness Nigeria is very positive that on account of its ongoing engagement with NAFDAC, the issues will be clarified and resolved in a short while.
Guinness Nigeria established its first brewery in Ikeja, Lagos in 1962. Since then it has remained an integral player in Nigeria’s manufacturing space, opening up more breweries located in Benin City and Aba respectively.
It has been commended on several occasions not only for its commitment to quality and safety but also importantly, for its contributions to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.