NAFDAC Bans Alcoholic Beverages In Satchets
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned alcoholic beverages produced in sachets less than 200ml.
The agency said the five-year window given to the manufacturers of the products to stop producing the drinks in sachets and pet bottles which began in 2018 elapsed on January 31, 2024.
The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, while addressing the media over the development in Abuja on Monday, February 5, said the ban was not a sudden development but a result of a multilateral Committee that agreed that the ban would be in phases whereby production would be reduced by 50 percent by 2020 while outright ban would be on January 31, 2024.
Given that decision, the DG said NAFDAC did not issue renewal licenses exceeding January 2024 to any manufacturer of the products.
In her words, “This decision was based on the recommendation of a high-powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC on one hand, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and the Industry represented by the Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), in December 2018.
“As a commitment to the decision reached at the end of this Committee meeting, producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume agreed to reduce the production by 5 percent with effect from 31st January 2022 while ensuring the product is completely phased out in the country by 31st January 2024”.
According to her, the future of the country supersedes other considerations in the enforcement of the policy.
Noting that saving Nigerian children and protecting the health of the larger society is paramount, Adeyeye said: “The people who are mostly at risk of the negative effect of consumption of the banned pack sizes of alcoholic beverages are the under-aged and commercial vehicle drivers and riders.
She noted, “This situation is of course not acceptable, and the Agency views this as flagrant disobedience to the laws of Nigeria. NAFDAC views this matter seriously and will engage all statutory means, which may include prosecution, to deal with the matter”.
She warned that there is no going back on the decision, saying, “I want to use this medium to ask all holders of alcohol in sachets, PET and Glass bottles, empty sachets, PET bottles, empty Glass bottles, and other packaging materials of these banned products to immediately report to the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC for hand-over of same to NAFDAC for destruction, to prevent sterner measures including prosecution.
“NAFDAC is resolutely committed to the strict implementation of the regulations and regulatory measures towards safeguarding the health of Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable youth, against the dangers of reckless consumption of alcohol.”