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Why MAN, DIBAN, CSOs oppose NAFDAC’s ban on sachet alcoholic drinks in Nigeria

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC

*The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, distillers and civil society organisations frown on NAFDAC’s planned ban on the sale of sachet alcoholic drinks, arguing the action will worsen current socio-economic challenges facing Nigerians and the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria says the recent ban on the sale of sachet alcoholic drinks by the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration will cost the Nigerian economy 500,000 jobs.

Reacting to the market development, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General of MAN, in a statement, said the Association was concerned about the recent ban imposed on spirit drinks in sachets and PET bottles less than 200ml.

It noted recalled the time NAFDAC first proposed the ban, critical stakeholders, including key members of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), raised concerns in a letter dated November 11, 2018.

DIBAN, in the letter, had raised an objection to some assertion that the segmentation or packaging of alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles was responsible for the reported increase of alcohol use among the underage.

The Association rather maintained that packaging and sales of alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles were not the reason for irresponsible use of the products in terms of quantity, intoxication, and other menaces in the country.

DIBAN also cautioned that implementing NAFDAC’s implementation of the ban on sachet alcoholic drinks would damage local manufacturing, negatively affect the economy, and the social well-being of Nigerian consumers.

CSOs are against NAFDAC sachet alcohol ban

ConsumerConnect learnt the Civil Society Organisations, under the aegis of Coalition against Economic Saboteur, in their reactions Wednesday, February 8, 2024, in Abuja, FCT, organised a peaceful protest against the planned prohibition on sachet and PET bottles of alcoholic drinks announced by NAFDAC.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters during the demonstration tagged: ‘Let the Poor live’, held at the National Assembly’s entrance gate, in Abuja, Comrade Kabir Matazu argued that the new policy would further compound the challenges confronting the Nigerian economy.

The ban may lead to the eventual shutdown of the distilleries as industries producing these products, stated he.

Protesters call for sack of Adeyeye over proposed ban

Comrade Matazu further kicked against the health sector regulatory agency’s alleged insensitivity to the current economic downturn on Nigerians.

The protesters as well urged the immediate sack Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, on the allegation that she is being used by multinationals to destroy small businesses in our local production and companies.

Matazu further said: “We address a matter of grave concern, the recent decision by the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye to ban the sale of beverages in small sachets.

“We view this policy as a direct assault on the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians, a move that will not only put countless citizens out of work but also exacerbate the existing problems of insecurity and unemployment in our nation.”

He averred: “We strongly condemn this ill-thought-out policy, which seems disconnected from the realities faced by the ordinary Nigerian citizens.

“NAFDAC leadership abandoned their core responsibility of focusing on issues that truly threaten the well-being of our people, such as the inflow of fake and substandard drugs, we find the Director-General choosing to target a sector that provides employment for many Nigerians and serves the needs of millions of families.”

The leader of the groups also stated: “Professor Moji Adeyeye’s tenure at NAFDAC has, regrettably, been marked by a series of disappointments and failures to deliver the desired results.

“Rather than ensuring the safety of our food and drugs, we have witnessed a surge in counterfeit beverages, creating a pervasive doubt about the authenticity of what our citizens consume.”

In his comment on the development, Ben Omale, one of the protesters, urged on all stakeholders to unite against the leadership of Prof. Adeyeye.

Omale said: “We demand her immediate suspension from office by the President in order to avert further damage to our economy, job losses, and business closures.

“It is imperative that NAFDAC should be led by someone who prioritises the real issues affecting our nation’s health and economic stability.”

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