NAFDAC begins implementation of alcohol in sachets ban

THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has begun the implementation of its 2022 restrictions on manufacturing, distributing, and selling alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET, and glass bottles of 200ml and below.

The Director-General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this at a press conference on Monday, February 5.

She said the agency stopped the registration of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small-volume PET and glass bottles below 200ml in 2022.

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“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 five per cent with effect from 31st January 2022 while ensuring the product is completely phased out in the country by 31st January 2024,” the statement added.

She noted that the agency was committed to ensuring that the validity of renewal of already registered alcoholic products in the affected category would not exceed 2024.

She also emphasised the adverse effects of alcoholic beverages, noting that under-aged and commercial vehicle drivers and riders were mostly affected.

“The World Health Organization has established that children who drink alcohol are more likely to use drugs, get bad grades, suffer injury or death, engage in risky sexual activity, make bad decisions and have health problems.

    “The World Health Organization also stated that harmful consumption of alcohol is linked to more than 200 health conditions, including infectious diseases (tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS) and non-communicable conditions (liver cirrhosis and different types of cancer). It is also associated with social problems such as alcohol addiction and gender-based violence.

    To curb the menace of abuse of alcohol, she said the World Health Organization recommended some actions and strategies to policymakers that were effective and cost-effective, which include: regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages (in particular to younger people) and regulating and restricting the availability of alcohol,” she said.

    Adeyeye highlighted that NAFDAC, established under Act Cap N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2014, had the mandate to regulate and control the entire lifecycle of regulated products, including food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, detergent, and chemicals.

    She urged all holders of alcohol in those categories to immediately report to the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC for handover and destruction to prevent sterner measures, including prosecution.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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