The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said there was no going back on the ban on the importation, manufacture, distribution, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET, and glass bottles of 200ml and below.
NAFDAC’s Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, insisted that the ban was for the benefit of Nigerians and to save lives.
The announcement on January 31, that NAFDAC would begin the enforcement of the ban on alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles had generated repeated protests by distillers and labour unions, who said the move would cost 500,000 workers their jobs.
Reacting to the protests trailing the announcement, the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, in a statement on Tuesday, said NAFDAC did not ban alcohol production in bigger bottles
He said the agency only banned alcohol in containers or packing that a child can easily conceal like sachet or PET bottles less than 200ml
“The alcoholic content in sachet or PET bottles less than 200ml is 30%. Beer has 4-8% alcohol.
“The Association of Food, Beverage & Tobacco Employers (AFBTE) and Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) signed an agreement with MOH, NAFDAC and FCCPC in December 2018 that they will phase out production of alcohol in sachet and PET bottles less than 200ml by January 31, 2024. The agreement document is available. A five year phase out notice should be sufficient
“Nigeria was one of the 193 member states of WHO that reached an historical consensus on a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by adopted resolution WHA63.13 at the 63rd session of the World Health Assembly, held in Geneva in 2010.
“This was seven years before my time, an agreement signed by Nigeria with other nations that will protect youth by making alcohol not easily reachable and accessible,” Akintola quoted Adeyeye as saying.