MAN Bemoan NAFDAC’s Ban On Production Of Alcoholic Beverages Packaged In Satchets, Small Bottles

The recent ban imposed on spirit drinks in sachets and PET bottles less than 200ml by NAFDAC is not going down well with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

In a statement signed by Director General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, the Manufacturers umbrella body noted that when NAFDAC first proposed the ban, critical stakeholders raised objections.

According to the statement, key members of Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) raised concerns about the planned ban in a letter dated 6/11/2018.

“DIBAN argued that claims that the segmentation or packaging of alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles is responsible for the reported increase of alcohol use among the underage is unfounded.

“Rather DIBAN was of the view that it is a reflection of a systemic problem of much wider ramifications.

“Attributing the alleged increase in the use of hard drugs to the production and sales of alcoholic drinks in sachets and small PET bottles is incorrect; (no scientific or other studies have proven this claim)

“Packaging and sales of alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles has not been shown to be the reason for irresponsible use in terms of quantity, intoxication and other menaces.

“It will also damage local manufacturing and negatively affect the economy, as well as the social wellbeing of the people of Nigeria.” The statement read.

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MAN further said notwithstanding its earlier objections to the immediacy of the ban, DIBAN participated in the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

According to MAN the MoU was ratified with reservations on the 18th of December 2018 between the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, CPC (now FCCPC) and Association of Food, Beverages, and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE) and DIBAN.

The statement disclosed that DIBAN spent over one billion naira in extensive support for the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC to undertake the advocacy, messaging, training, education, and other roles assigned to the Committee that was formed.
MAN recommends that; “Government should intensify its activities and support in the form of access control and tighter regulations, but definitely not ban, which will be counterproductive;

“The ban be reversed immediately and replaced with regulations and access control such as: Establishment of licensed liquor stores/outlets by LGAs across the country;

“Suspected underage persons (under 18) should be required to show I.D to purchase alcoholic beverages as practiced in some other climes;

“Tightening enforcement by law enforcement agencies and Increased monitoring and compliance checks by NAFDAC, FCCPC and others to ensure strict product quality in terms of content and safety.

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