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Court Adjourns Guinness N1bn Suit Against NAFDAC

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A Lagos High Court yesterday adjourned the suit filed by one of Nigeria’s brewing giants, Guinness Nigeria Plc against the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) till February 8, 2016 to enable parties meet for amicable resolution of the dispute.

Justice Wasiu Animahun adjourned the suit following submissions of counsel that a meeting is ongoing to resolve the matter out of court.

NAFDAC had imposed N1 billion fine on Guinness “as administrative charges for various clandestine violations of NAFDAC rules, regulations and enactments over a long period of time.”

The agency had in a letter addressed to the Managing Director of Guinness, Peter Ndegwa, by the Head, Investigation and Enforcement of NAFDAC, Kingsley Ejiofor, requested the payment of the N1billion as administrative charges for infractions such as the destruction activities carried out by the company without the authorisation and supervision of the agency.

The agency also accused Guinness of revalidating expired products without authorisation and supervision by NAFDAC, as well as failing to secure the gate of its warehouse as the raw materials used in the production of beer and non-alcoholic beverages by the firm were permanently opened to intrusion and exposure to the elements and rodents, which “invariably affect the integrity of the raw materials.”

Guinness was also alleged to maintain poor documentation record and not complying with conditions contained in the certificate of validation of the revalidated malt extract, which required the storage of the items in cool and dry place and elimination of exposure to sunlight.

Dissatisfied with the N1 billion fine, Guinness approached the court asking it to restrain NAFDAC and the Attorney-General of the Federation from enforcing the sanction pending the determination of the suit.

When the suit came up yesterday for mention, counsel to Guinness Plc, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN), told the court that representatives of Guinness and that of NAFDAC are meeting on the sanction imposed on the company, adding that he was hopeful the matter could be resolved.

Addressing the court, NAFDAC’s lawyer, Mr. O M Abutu, acknowledged that parties met last Monday but that he was not privy to what actually transpired at the meeting.

He said: “I confirm that the applicant (Guinness) met with the agency yesterday, but I was not part of the meeting and I have not been briefed about the outcome of the meeting’’
Abutu urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable the Agency reply to the originating process filed by Guinness and for possible out of court settlement of the matter.

In his submission, counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. T Mokuolu, said he had no objection if parties decide to resolve the issue out of court.

Guinness Plc had in its originating motion prayed the court for an order restraining NAFDAC and AGF from imposing any sanction on it other than as recorgnised by law and the constitution.

The company also asked the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from imposing/or continuing to impose any sanction whatsoever on it.

The applicant is also asking for a declaration that NAFDAC refused to grant it an opportunity to be heard in relation to the allegation.

The company urged the court to declare the fine imposed by NAFDAC violated it right to fair hearing as guaranteed under section 36(1) of the Constitution.

Justice Animahun had in a ruling delivered on December 14 restrained NAFDAC from enforcing the N1 billion fine pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The matter has been adjourned till February 8 for mention.

Thisday

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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FG Installs And Commissions N8 Billion Cargo Scanners at Lagos Port

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Lekki Deep Seaport

The federal government has finally put the N8 billion non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment, also known as cargo scanners, at the Apapa Port complex after receiving widespread condemnation and criticism for continuing 100% cargo examination despite the purchase of cargo scanners.

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) officers are suspected of sabotaging the scanners, which have been abandoned at the country’s seaports for more than a year. Yesterday, the scanners were officially launched by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, and national planning.

Speaking at the commissioning of the three new scanners, Ahmed thanked the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approving the purchase, installation, and training of 120 service officers as well as the approval of the scanners.

However, she asserted that the project would undoubtedly help the NCS carry out its mandates, in keeping with the Administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari‘s top priorities of eradicating poverty and fostering favorable macroeconomic conditions for long-term growth and development.

She asserts that the scanner has the ability to find illegal imports concealed in cargoes and that it allows for the scanning of more cargoes while achieving the desired efficiency and effectiveness in the cargo examination procedures.

“The commissioning of these three non-intrusive scanners is in line with efforts to expedite Customs operations and achieve its mandate of ease of doing business, trade facilitation and preventing port congestion.”

“These three scanners will help increase revenue for government and improve national security. It will also help enhance the remote audit trail of goods within the port system,” she said.

She implored the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), port terminal operators and all stakeholders in the port to cooperate with NCS to take full advantage of the scanners, saying the equipment have the capacity to process up to 500 containers in a day.

Earlier, the Comptroller General Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), explained that the scanners commissioned were an intervention pending the start of the Customs modernisation project, which will deploy 135 scanners.

Ali stated that by 2023, scanners would be installed throughout Nigeria as part of the current administration’s reform strategy.

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Nigeria, China to Collaborate on Movie Production

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The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jinachun, has called for a collaboration between the Nigerian movie industry and China film industry.

The Chinese Ambassador who made the statement at the opening of the Fourth Asian Film Festival and movie screening in Abuja noted that such would promote harmony, peace and unity between both countries. 

According to the ambassador, Nigeria is important to Africa and the Nollywood movie industry had taken the lead with a huge potential of driving a movie partnership between Africa and Asia. 

Investors King understands that this is not the first time both countries will call for such collaboration. 

Envoys from both countries have hinted at a possible collaboration in that regard. 

In July 2022, the Nigerian Consul General in China, H. E. Chimezie Okeoma Ogu sought a partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the government of the People’s Republic of China in the areas of film production. 

Chimezie positioned that such collaboration will not only enhance the relationship, it will also give room to knowledge transfer and provision of hi-tech resolution equipment in the African entertainment industry. 

The Consular added that Nigeria stands to benefit a lot from the partnership noting that the movie industry in Nigeria is rated as the third-largest globally, accounting for five percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP). 

Similarly, speaking during the opening of the Fourth Asian Film Festival and movie screening yesterday, the Chinese Ambassador also reiterated the benefits of the partnership. 

“You know in Asia we have 47 countries, in the African continent we have 54 countries, so we can work together to produce films for the harmony of the people, society and the nations,” he said. 

Speaking further, he added that Nigeria can take the lead owing to the large nature of the Nollywood industry. 

“Nigeria particularly leads in producing in the film industry, so I think this kind of factor will give a big push and big momentum to develop Nollywood” he concluded. 

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SPAR Nigeria Begins Black Friday Sales

SPAR to begin Black Friday sales on Friday, November 25, 2022

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SPAR Market, Nigeria’s leading supermarket and department store, has announced that its annual Black Friday Sales will begin on Friday, November 25, 2022. 

The company said in a statement that it expects this to be one of its biggest Black Friday events ever, thanks to the appointment of Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham as its Black Friday ambassador.

“This year, SPAR offers massive offers up to 70% off in electronics, home appliances, mobile phones, computers, wines and spirits, groceries, clothing, watches, furniture, and more,” it said.

“Spar market has also organised several engaging games for their customers to win amazing prizes at all their stores nationwide.”

The SPAR license for Nigeria was granted to the Artee Group, a leading retail operator in Lagos, in 2009.  SPAR’s presence in Nigeria has grown steadily over the years. The partner assessed the market potential and developed the brand through a combination of new build and conversion stores, establishing brand recognition among shoppers and local entrepreneurs capable of supplying local products to this organized retail network.

SPAR is the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain. The company began with a single Dutch store in 1932 and has since expanded to over 13,600 locations in 48 countries across four continents.  SPAR’s growth has been supported by a set of values that have guided the organization since its inception 90 years ago. At the heart of these core values is the commitment of SPAR independent entrepreneurs to collaborate in all areas of wholesale and retail to ensure we serve our local communities with passion while being authentic in everything we do.

The story of SPAR in its early years is the story of its founder, Adriaan van Well, an innovative Dutch wholesaler with a clear vision for SPAR’s future. He was inspired by a simple yet powerful philosophy based on the concept of voluntary retailing: independent wholesalers and retailers can achieve more by working together than by working alone. SPAR’s philosophy today is based on the vision of benefiting from collaboration by pooling resources and scale.

Investors King will keep you updated on future Black Friday sales. 

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