Consumers in Lagos State can now heave a sigh of relief from every form of abuse on their rights as Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency is not resting on her oars to protect the rights of every consumer in the state.
In her effort to demonstrate the state government’s concern about the welfare of its citizenry, LASCOPA, last week made a proactive visit to investigate the factory of the International Brewery, makers of the product that contained a suspected impurity as alleged by a consumer.
According to the General Manager of the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), Mrs Kemi Olugbode, the Consumer’s Protection Law of the State which centres on quality, quantity, purity of products, price and avoidance of unfair practices by manufacturers will be interpreted to the letter on behalf of consumers.
During the visit, Mrs Kemi Olugbode said, although the incident occurred in Abuja based on the video that went viral recently, the proactive visit to the company becomes expedient given the fact that the largest consumers of Grand Malt, the product in contention, are in Lagos.
Olugbodi added that government will not relent in its efforts at getting to the root of the matter, pointing out that the company’s close – circuited, automated and non-human involvement process of operation notwithstanding, the investigation is still ongoing in a bid to safeguard the interest of consumers.
In his remarks, the Agency’s Director of Scientific Investigation, Research and Development, Mr. Deji Badejo implored the company to take a closer look at the use of plastics in the packaging of products, as the object found in the malt drink by the consumer could have been prevented in the face of meaningful safety measures.
Responding, the Plant Manager of the Company at the Gateway end, Mr Tony Agar commented on the series of laboratory test carried out on the sample within and outside the country to ascertain the particular object in the drink and the possible cause, revealing that production of the said Malt drink has been stopped since the incidence, pending the outcome of the investigation.
He, however, commended the Lagos State Government for its foresight activities and the enormous priority placed not only on the interest of consumers in the State but also, protection of their rights, adding that the company, which is the second-largest plant in Africa will cooperate with the State Government in its desire to investigate the incident.
The Agency’s Management Team investigated various departments of production, including the source of water, filtration, storage facilities for raw materials, disposal unit of spent materials as well as packaging section where the suspected particle in the Malt drink could have slipped in.