The SIFAX Group has concluded arrangements with relevant Lagos State government agencies to dispose the five containers of rotten fish at one of its terminals in Lagos.
The agencies include Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), among others.
This follows the on-site inspection of SIFAX bonded terminal facilities by the Lagos State emergency taskforce team last weekend.
According to Mr Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, mindful of applicable regulations of a bonded terminal, the company was already seeking the necessary government approvals for evacuation and safe disposal before the taskforce visit.
He said: “As a responsible corporate citizen, SIFAX Group will not deliberately endanger the lives of its neighbours, who we have had an excellent relationship with over the last 18 years that our terminal had been in that community.
“When the company discovered that the content of the containers had gone bad, we immediately contacted the shipping line, consignee and the Nigerian Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for possible collaboration in addressing this situation.
“As of this moment, NAFDAC is still conducting its investigation on the matter and being a bonded terminal, SIFAX Group couldn’t unilaterally dispose the fish without approvals.
“While we were waiting for NAFDAC to round off its investigation, we have to retain the services of a reputable fumigation consultant to constantly disinfect the affected containers in order to protect our neighbours from air pollution and other health hazards.”
Oyinloye further noted that the intervention of the taskforce team was a welcome development capable of speeding up the disposal process that has been clogged by bureaucracy.
He said the company was fully cooperating with the taskforce team for the safe evacuation and other post-disposal assessments and checks in order to guarantee a clean and pollution-free environment, adding that a robust community engagement plan had also been mapped out to assure its neighbours of the company’s commitment to their well-being and good health.