Reps ignore NAFDAC, orders suspension of ban on sachet alcohol

Lawmakers at the House of Representatives Committee on the National Agency on Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have ordered the suspension of the ban on the production and sale of alcoholic drinks in sachets and 200ml bottles.

Chairperson of the committee and former Benue State First Lady, Regina Akume, said the ban by NAFDAC should be suspended till its investigation on the matter is concluded.

NAFDAC had banned the production and sale of spirits and alcoholic drinks in sachets and single-use plastic with immediate effect, but the House at Plenary directed its committee to investigate the issue.

The House had declined to instruct NAFDAC to lift the ban.

However, following a meeting involving the regulatory agency and various stakeholders, it was decided that NAFDAC should postpone the enforcement of the ban.

Those who attended the meeting are Regina Akume and her Deputy Chairman,  Idu Obiajulu; the Minister of State for Health, Tunji Alausa; NAFDAC DG, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye; the DG, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Ajayi- Kadir, representatives of the Food, Beverage & Tobacco Employers and Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria; representatives of the spirits and alcoholic drinks producers;  the Nigerian Police Force; Customs and Excise; Federal Road Safety Corps; organised labour and civil society were present.

The NAFDAC DG told those present that the ban was imposed to protect the health and welfare of children, youths, and other vulnerable groups.

But despite her position, the committee aligned itself with the views of the spirit producers, civil society, and organised labour that the unemployment and hardship being occasioned by the closure of the factories as a result of the ban far outweighed the health concerns being raised by NAFDAC.

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