Apr 2 2010
Written by Muda Oyeniran:
NIGERIANS need to beware of the kind of milk that they consume as indication emerges that some dairy companies are now rebagging some products that are expired. A dairy company, Rofico Nigeria Limited, is currently enmeshed in a controversy over the market suitability of one of its products, the Milcow Chocolate milk.
It was alleged that the company had, for the past two months, been repackaging expired Milcow products, which sources said had already flooded the market.
Investigation by Saturday Tribune revealed that the company had allegedly been repackaging the expired products after it withdrew it from the market.
Further investigation revealed that the company, which has its main office in a building called Ile-Zik along Lagos — Abeokuta Expressway near Ikeja, has relocated to another location where the repackaging was said to be taking place.
Our correspondent, who visited the repackaging site of the company during the week, discovered a heap of branded cellophane papers littering the floor. The makeshift ‘factory’ was behind what looked like a row of partitioned offices under a warehouse.
Similarly, several bags of obviously repackaged Milcow, contained in nylon bags, rested on three points at the location, while some of the spilled powdered milk covered the floor.
It was also gathered that other workers in the area had been expressing reservations about the repackaging, which some of the workers within the vast premises alleged to have started about two months ago.
The visit of some NAFDAC officials, who apparently acted on a tip-off to the location, caused the company to abandon the operations for now.
According to findings, the company reportedly told the NAFDAC officials, who visited the main office, that the expired products were meant to be handed over to the agency for destruction.
The company was quoted as saying that the workers at the ‘makeshift factory’ were instructed to take the milk to the destruction site.
Attempts were made by Saturday Tribune to get the clarification of the management of the company on the controversy surrounding the expired product and the decision to repackage it.
But the receptionist at the company office told ST that none of the key management staff was available to provide the official reaction. Instead, Saturday Tribune was asked to come back next Tuesday to get the reaction, when the officials would be around.
Also, when ST sought clarifications from the Head of Public Relations of NAFDAC in Lagos, Mrs. Christy Obiazkholor, she confirmed the company’s claim.
According to her, the company had paid the necessary fees prescribed by the agency for the destruction of the product, adding that it had shown evidence of payment.
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