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Monday, July 15, 2024

NAFDAC maintains ban on alcohol in sachets

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has reiterated that the ban on the sale and consumption of sachet alcoholic beverages has not been lifted in Nigeria.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, reaffirming the ban.

The statement contradicts the House’s earlier announcement that the ban had been lifted.

Mrs. Adeyeye admitted that there was a meeting with lawmakers on the matter, but said no final decision had been made, adding that the ban is still pending further deliberations and a conclusion.

She said: “The ban on sachet alcohol is a ministerial directive and the ban remains in place until ministers respond. Last week’s Thursday meeting is a continuation of the discussion.

“The outcome of the meeting is that ministers should write a memorandum to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the House, and the Speaker’s representative, Jake Dan-Azumi, then said that we should continue the discussion after the Members’ recess. the House in July. So the discussion continues.”

Decisions

A member of the House of Representatives, Philip Agbese, announced on Friday that the House and NAFDAC had agreed to lift the ban on the sale and consumption of sachet alcoholic beverages in the country.

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Agbese said a temporary lifting of the ban on sachet alcoholic beverages was agreed upon following a meeting between the House Committee and NAFDAC officials.

According to him, the ban will be reinstated when the economy recovers.

Background

On February 1, NAFDAC began enforcing a ban on the import, manufacture, distribution, sale and use of alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET and glass bottles of 200 ml or less.

According to the Director General, the decision was based on the recommendation of a high-powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the industry represented by the Food Employers and Distillers Association, Drinks and Tobacco. and Blenders Association of Nigeria, in December 2018.

The implementation of the ban sparked an outcry from distillers and unions, who argued that it would result in the loss of 500,000 jobs and the destruction of N800 billion in investments.

Deliberations

Mrs. Adeyeye further clarified in the statement that the agency is acting on a ministerial directive and that the ban on alcoholic beverages remains in force, pending a response from the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Pate.

“The outcome of the meeting is that ministers should write a memo to the president and the president’s representative, Jake Dan-Azumi, and then they said that we should continue the discussion after the House members recess in July. So the discussion continues,” the statement reads in part.

“The Agency was again advised to lift the ban, and I responded by saying that this was a ministerial directive and that I had not received any directive from the Coordinating Minister to lift the ban.”

READ ALSO: Protests spread against NAFDAC ban on alcohol in pet sachets and bottles as Ogun President Olota and others suggest options

Mrs Adeyeye said that after the meeting she informed both Mr Pate and her Minister of State counterpart, Tunji Alausa, of the outcome.

He reiterated that the alcohol ban will remain in place until further guidance is received from relevant ministers.

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