In order to stem the tide of alcohol abuse, especially by persons below the age of 18 years, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has clamp down on a number of facilities producing alcoholic drinks in sachets, small volume Polyethylene Terephthalate, PET and glass bottles below 200ml.
The exercise Is in compliance to the order by the federal government on the ban on the production of alcohol in sachets, and small bottles.
Assistant Director, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, NAFDAC, Mr Anthony Abbah after a visit to some companies explained, that “ the agency had stopped registration of new drinks that were below 200ml and contained above 30 per cent alcohol, following the recommendation of a committee of the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, in December 2018 ‘
According to him, “ In January 2022, NAFDAC issued a directive to the producers of such alcohol beverages to stop production and sales from January 31, 2024 “.
“ The agency gave a marching order to the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria to embark on intensive nationwide sensitization among manufacturers , “ adding
That despite the order, some companies did not comply as they continued to produce 30ml, 35ml, 100ml and 120ml products with alcohol volume of 43 per cent, against the 30 per cent mandated by NAFDAC “ he said
The Leader of the team, Abbah expressed dismay that and I quote, “ I am surprised that these companies still produced 100ml and 30ml items and the window for the production expired in January this year, 2024 “
Explaining further, ‘ affordability of the drinks led to the abuse because underage people can easily afford it, especially the students in secondary school, making them engage in several social vices, ‘ hence, the agency warned that nobody should produce the packet sizes because the reason is to discourage the abuse of alcoholic substances” Abbah.
Radio Nigeria correspondent who was part of the team reports that, during the enforcement in Lagos, some of the production facilities visited still had the banned items in large quantities, claiming they were unaware of the deadline and did not receive any circular, adding that, the consumers’ low purchasing power, triggered high sales of smaller packages for between N60 and N100.