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Breweries’ operations no threat to lives in Kaduna, assures state government

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Following the protest of some Kaduna residents on the allegation that Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, Kaduna brewery was discharging harmful toxic wastes, causing discomfort and fears in the neighbouring community, the Kaduna State Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA) after a visit to the brewery, expressed satisfaction with its safety standards.

KEPA General Manager, Lawal Jibrin, told journalists after the inspection that there was nothing harmful in the operation of the brewery to the environment or lives of citizens in the Kakuri community.

“We went round and there is no threat to life. We have gone to the discharge point and taken samples, which confirms no nuisance to the environment,” he said.

Jibrin explained that from all indications, what is needed is a political solution to the issue, since the complainants have remained faceless, adding: “We are looking at the issue as political and intend to invite all the parties to sit down and see how we can resolve the matter amicably.

“The water discharged to community shows that if fishes can live in that place or in the fish pond using same water, it means it cannot harm life. We have moved round and what we have seen today is not constituting any nuisance,” he stressed.

Jibrin, therefore, called on the complainants to come forward and make claims if any exists, arguing that Governor Nasir el-Rufai was concerned about the welfare of the people and gave express order for the allegations to be investigated.

“The governor was concerned about the plight of the community and instructed the commissioner of Environment to embark on a thorough investigation. We are assuring the community that there is no cause for alarm,” he added.

In an interview with journalists after the inspection exercise, Kaduna Brewery Manager, NB Plc, Abbey Ajayi, said besides human safety, the company also adheres to environmental safety standards, with constant monitoring from ISO 14001: 2015, KEPA, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other agencies, who have always given the company a pass mark.

Ajayi said: “If we can put a face to these people, we would understand what they are referring to and address it. We have been here for over 50 years and as a long term investor and responsible operator, we plan to be here for the long haul.”

He explained that as a respected organisation, one of their core values is continuous improvement, adding: “We have always done that and would continue to do that. Our liquid discharge (effluent) is compliant to regulatory required standards,” he stressed.

Besides, NB Plc’s Public Affairs Manager (North), Danjuma John-Ekele, said as a responsible organisation and key stakeholder of business in Kaduna, as NBL has exhibited for years, that it was conscious of safety.

“We would continue to partner all the stakeholders, host communities and government in a win-win mentality. Our corporate philosophy of winning with Nigeria dictates that with our huge investments over the years, we would always abide by the laws of the land and that is why we have been successful over the last 50 years in Kaduna,” he added.

During the tour, Ajayi explained that the methane generated was being flared, but in a couple of months, the methane would be used for economic value to fire boilers.

He also stressed that Hydrogen Sulphide H2S, which was complained about, might be offensive in odour, but harmless.


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KEPALawal Jibrin
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