The Kaduna State Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA) has dismissed report that the Nigerian Breweries factory in the state was discharging harmful toxic wastes causing discomfort and fears to the neigbouring communities.
The state environmental agency General Manager, Lawal Jibrin, told journalists after an inspection of the brewery that no activity at the brewery was harmful to the environment or to lives.
According to him, “as far as we are concerned, there is no threat to life at the brewery. We have gone to the discharge point and taken samples which confirmed that it doesn’t pose threat to the environment,” he said.
KEPA GM said that from all indications, what was needed was a political solution to the issue, since the complainants had remained faceless.
“We are looking at the issue as political; we intend to invite all the parties to sit and see how we can resolve the matter amicably.
“What we have seen from the water discharged to community shows that if fishes can live in that place, in the fish pond using same water, it means it can’t harm life. We have moved round, from here we are visiting the community. What we have seen today does not constitute any nuisance,” he stressed.
He therefore, called on the complainants to come forward and make claims if any exists. “We are calling on the complainants to come forward,” he added.
Jibrin explained that Governor Nasir el-Rufai, concerned about the welfare of the people gave express order for the allegations to be investigated.
“His Excellency was concerned about the plight of the community and instructed the Commissioner for Environment to embark on a thorough investigation. We are assuring the community that there is no cause for alarm,” he added.
The Kaduna Brewery Manager, Abiodun Ajayi, said that besides human safety, the company also adheres to environmental safety standards.
He explained that constant monitoring from ISO 14001: 2015, KEPA, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other agencies have always given them pass mark.
“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 added.
He further explained that as a respected organisation, Nigerian Breweries strives for continuous improvement.
“We have always done that and would continue to do that. Our liquid discharge (effluent) is compliant to regulatory required standards,” he stressed.
NB Plc Public Affairs Manager North, Mr. Danjuma John-Ekele said that as a responsible organization and key business stakeholder in Kaduna, the company is conscious of safety as it has always done for years.
“As we have shown in our over 50 Years of business in Kaduna, we would continue to partner all the stakeholders, host communities and government in a win-win partnership.
“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, Kaduna Brewery Manager, Abiodun Ajayi explained that the methane generated was being flared, but in a couple of months, the methane generated would be used for economic value, to fire boilers.
“If we get more methane, we will spend less on AGO for our boilers,” he assured.
He said that Hydrogen Sulphide as a gas which was complained about, might be offensive in odour, but harmless