Kaduna environment agency allays threat to lives in NB operations
Kaduna State Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA) has dismissed as false the allegations that Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc Kaduna brewery was discharging harmful toxic waste causing discomfort, saying nothing going on at the brewery is harmful to the environment or lives.
The agency expressed satisfaction with the company’s safety operational standards.
Lawal Jibrin, KEPA general manager, told newsmen after an inspection of the brewery in Kaduna that as far as the agency was concerned, having gone to the discharge point and taken samples, “we have gone to take samples, which confirm no nuisance to the environment.”
Jibrin said from all indications, what was needed was a political solution to the issue, since the complainants had remained faceless, saying, “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 is not constituting any nuisance.”
He, therefore, called on the complainants to come forward and make claims if any existed, saying 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 of Environment to embark on a thorough investigation. We are assuring the community that there is no cause for alarm,” he said.
Abiodun Ajayi, Kaduna brewery manager, NB, told newsmen that besides human safety, the company also adhered to environmental safety standards.
Ajayi in an interview with newsmen after the inspection explained that constant monitoring from ISO 14001: 2015, KEPA, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other agencies had always given them pass mark.
According to Ajayi, “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.”
As a respected organisation, NB strives for continuous improvement, he said, saying, “We have always done that and would continue to do that. Our liquid discharge (effluent) is compliant to regulatory required standards.”
On his part, Danjuma John-Ekele, NB public affairs manager, North, said as a responsible organisation and key business stakeholder in Kaduna, the company was conscious of safety as it had 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 said.
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 H2S as a gas, which was complained about, might be offensive in odour, but it’s harmless.