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Monday, March 4, 2024

Nigerian lawmakers to investigate sachet alcohol ban

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The House of Representatives has decided to investigate the ban on sachet alcoholic beverages by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The House, following a motion moved by Paschal Agbodike (APGA, Anambra) on Wednesday, resolved to investigate the basis of the ban.

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The Director General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, recently announced the commencement of the implementation of the ban on the import, manufacture, distribution, sale and use of alcoholic beverages in sachets, as well as PET and glass bottles of 200 ml or less .

PREMIUM TIMES reported that NAFDAC has since started enforcing measures in many states like Plateau and Osun by confiscating such products and shutting down factories producing them.

In his motion, Agbodike stated that the ban imposed by NAFDAC goes against the spirit of the 1999 Constitution and the economic recovery plan of the current administration.

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The lawmaker claimed that the decision would encourage unscrupulous elements to engage in the production of such beverages and products without recourse to NAFDAC.

“The decision to prohibit the registration of beverages in small bags and bottles goes against the spirit and letter of the Constitution and goes against the Economic Recovery Plan of the current administration.

“Given the many economic challenges faced by poor Nigerians, banning the production of such beverages will cause further havoc and job losses for more than 50 percent of workers in Nigeria,” he said.

Agbodike called for the ban to be suspended pending an investigation by the House.

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Opposing the motion, Olamide Osoba (APC, Ogun) said the ban is within the mandate of NAFDAC. He said the agency is empowered to regulate food and drugs in the country and the decision was in line with global best practices.

He stated that nowhere in the world are alcoholic beverages sold in sachets and small bottles and that this practice should not be encouraged in Nigeria.

Osoba argued that adolescents who have not reached the drinking age can easily abuse alcoholic beverages in small sachets.

In his ruling, Speaker of the House Abbas Tajudeen directed the NAFDAC Committee to investigate the matter and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.

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