(Add quote from Guinness)
LAGOS, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s Guinness said on Thursday it had been fined 1 billion naira ($5 million) by the local food and drug agency over alleged infractions relating to the destruction and re-validation of expired raw materials without prior approval.
The local unit of Diageo said it did not fully understand the basis for the fine, nor the particular regulations infringed, but was in talks with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to resolve the matter.
It said Guinness had operated in Nigeria for over 65 years and had conducted its business in accordance with the law and Diageo’s procedures relating to manufacturing practice.
“We remain committed to working with NAFDAC and other regulatory authorities ... to produce and market quality products ... and look forward to being able to resolve the issue,” the brewer said in a statement.
The regulator gave Guinness, Nigeria’s second-largest brewer, two-weeks from Nov. 9 to pay the fine, a local newspaper reported, quoting NAFDAC letter.
Nigeria, reeling from a plunge in oil revenues which has stemmed government cash flow, has tightened regulations after President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May promising to clean up corruption and mismanagement in Africa’s biggest economy. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Thomas)