The Executive Secretary of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DBAN), John Ichue, has urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to reverse the ban placed on the production of alcohol in sachets and pet bottles below 200 millimetre.
On February 1, NAFDAC commenced the enforcement of the ban on alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET, and glass bottles of 200ml and below.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, during a press briefing in Abuja, noted that as of January 31, 2024, no such beverages were registered with the NAFDAC.
“The agency commenced nationwide enforcement actions on February 1, 2024, to enforce the implementation of the new policy,” she had said.
Speaking with Sunday PUNCH, Ichue stated that the ban has gravely affected the industry and led to a massive loss on the part of stakeholders.
He said “The ban is honestly not the solution to the problem. In 2018, we signed an MOU under duress and the MOU gave us the authorisation to do a campaign on responsible drinking and discourage underage alcohol consumption.
“For DBAN members, our investment is over 12 trillion by indigenous manufacturers and this ban will lead over 75 percent of home-grown manufacturers to shut down.
“Meanwhile, the sachet alcohol is our cash cow as when we were producing bottled alcohol, we were finding it hard to adjust to the economic situation, so most of our members decided to scale down to sachet and we have invested trillions of naira in that direction.
“To us, it will be a disservice to Nigerian investors because this ban is clearly motivated by multinationals in our segment of business.”
On her part, a Senior Registrar, Infectious Diseases Unit, in the Internal Medicine Department of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Ogun State, Dr. Olaitan Abimbola, said “The type of alcoholic drink also determines the level of severity of liver damage or damage to the heart muscles.”