Friday, 14 April 2017


News broke on the internet few months ago when a businessman by the nane Mr Fijabi filed a law suit against the Coca-cola company and won. This rebounded and spiralled into a round of allegations and counter allegatiins, raising quite some dust on the soft drinks-benzoic acid poisoning controversy presently plaguing some major soft drink makers in Nigeria.

Few days ago, the Consumer protection council apparently jolted up from its slumber decided to hold the next available scape goat; Lucozade a sports a health drink brand formerly produced by Glaxosmithkline was caught in the early morning dragnet.

In a statement obtained by reporters, the council in Abuja said that while the NIS limit for benzoic acid is 250mg/Kg, when combined with Vitamin C and 300mg/Kg without Vitamin C, test revealed that Mirinda, a product of 7UP Bottling Company, contained benzoic acid ranging between 0.56mg/L to 330.9mg/L. It said Lucozade, contained a 2.26mg/L to 323.53mg/L benzoic acid range. Fanta Orange ranged from 5.09mg/L to 197.0mg/L while that of Sprite ranged from 2.82mg/L to 239.0mg/L, indicating that both soft drinks were unsafe for Nigerian consumers as they contained benzoic acid within the limit approved by the NIS.

The council said the test was conducted at the Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), a laboratory under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.


The council said it obtained 65 samples of soft drinks from the open market in eight locations within the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, made up of Fanta Orange, Sprite, Mirinda and Lucozade. It also observed from the results that there were isolated cases of Mirinda and Lucozade with Benzoic Acid levels of 330.9mg/L and 323.53mg/L respectively, which are above the NIS limit. The affected brands were not available for comments as at the time of these publications.

The Director General of Consumer protection council CPC, Mrs Modupe Atoki said NAFDAC and SON have been informed of the investigation and has recommended regulatory action and review of the “benzoic acid limits in soft drinks as the current standard, which has been in existence since 2008 is overdue for review.” 

In a poll conducted online by CNN, investigations revealed that a larger percentage of Nigerians still consume coca-cola, fanta and sprite.

However Suntory Beverages & Food Nigeria makers of Lucozade has finally come out to say it’s products are benzoic acid free.

Lucozade, has assured its customers and consumers that its range of Lucozade drinks do not contain benzoic acid and as such are safe and healthy for human consumption.

The company said in a statement that all its brands were produced in line with local and international standards and it would not compromise quality or endanger the lives of Nigerians.

“Our attention has been drawn to media reports on an investigation commissioned by the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) to analyse the levels of benzoic acid contained in soft drinks produced in Nigeria in which our brand, ‘Lucozade’, was mentioned.

Suntory Beverage & Food Nigeria Limited will like to state categorically that Lucozade does not contain benzoic acid and our products are processed and manufactured under the best quality standard that meets  both local regulations and  global guidelines” the statement said.

It added that “our local supervisory agencies including NAFDAC and SON routinely validate our processes and standards to ensure the safety of our products for consumer benefits.”

“Lucozade is a drink of heritage that has energised Nigerians for over four decades. As a company, the safety of our consumers is paramount to us and we will do everything possible to protect the trust they have vested in us to deliver world class products.”


Consequently on Thursday, Mrs. Catherine Dupe Atoki’s DG of Consumer protection council was relieved of her post at the council following the uncomplimentary report on the level of Benzoic in Pepsi, Miranda, Lucozade and she has been subsequently replaced with Babatunde Irukera, as the new director general.

The appointment takes immedKate effect.

These are the new directors for the other 22 agencies that experienced a shake up:

Julie Okah-Donli is the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). Mary Ikpere-Eta was named as the Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD).


For the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Bayo Somefun is managing director. Tijani Suleiman, Jasper Azuatalam and Kemi Nelson are executive directors.


Ahmed Dangiwa is the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB). Melvin Eboh is Executive Director (Org. Resourcing), Hajiya Rahimatu Aliyu is Executive Director (Loans Department, Securities Issuance and Market Development) and Umaru Abdullahi Dankane is the Executive Director (Policy and Strategy Loans Set-Up and Pay Off).


The statement added that Alex Okoh is Director General for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).


Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has Abdulkadir Saidu Umar as Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Musa Goni is the Conservator-General/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Park Service (NPS).


Service Compact (SERVICOM) has Nnenna A. Akajemeli as the National Coordinator/CEO.


For the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Dr. Nasiru Mohammed Ladan is the Director-General.


Saliu Dada Alabi is the Director General of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS). The National Research Institute for Chemical Technology has Professor Jef. T. Barminas as Director-General.


The Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) new Director-General is Dr. Haruna Yerima.


Sunday Thomas is the Deputy Commissioner for the Nigeria Insurance Commission (NAICOM). The Consumer Protection Council has Tunde Erukera as Executive Secretary.


Mohammed Bello Tukur is the Secretary of the Federal Character Commission.


For National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Dikko Aliyu Abdulrahman is the Director-General (Subject to Senate Confirmation). Funso Doherty is the Chairman and Executive Commissioners include Akin Akinwale, Abubakar Zaki Magawata, Ben Oviosun, and Nyerere Ayim.


Umar Gambo Jibrin is the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority. For the Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation, Mrs. Folashade Joseph is the Managing Director Cecilia Umaru Gaya, is the Director General of Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON).


Lagos International Trade Fair Management Board has Mrs. Luci Ajayi as Executive Secretary Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority has Emmanuel Jimme as Managing Director. Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission has Lanre Gbajabiamila as Director-General. Jalani Aliyu is the Director-General of the Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council, the statement said.

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