Reps Suspend NAFDAC Ban on Sachet and Pet Bottle Alcoholic Drinks Pending Further Inquiry

The House of Representatives Committee overseeing the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has suspended the ban on selling spirits and alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles.

This decision, reached after a public hearing in Abuja, reflects the committee’s commitment to thorough investigation before implementing regulatory measures.

Chairing the committee, Representative Regina Akume highlighted the importance of stringent procedures and access control to prevent minors and adolescents from accessing alcoholic products.

Akume also acknowledged the significance of supporting employment generation and economic advancement by emphasising the importance of NAFDAC’s efficacy.

In a statement issued following the hearing, Akume reiterated the committee’s dedication to striking a balance between NAFDAC’s regulatory mandates and manufacturers’ concerns, primarily focusing on safeguarding public health, especially that of vulnerable demographics like children.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, underscored the intent of the initial ban to safeguard the health of susceptible groups, including minors. Expressing disappointment at manufacturers’ resistance despite previous agreements, Adeyeye highlighted the concerning rise in underage alcohol consumption and its potential correlation with substance abuse.

However, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), advocated for collaborative efforts in addressing underage access to alcohol. He cautioned against the unintended consequences of a blanket ban, warning that it could inadvertently fuel the illicit drug market.

Ajayi-Kadir stressed the necessity of a concerted approach in tackling underage access, noting that sachets and pet bottles primarily cater to adult consumers. He urged NAFDAC and manufacturers to work together to devise solutions that prioritize public health while preserving market dynamics.

Recognizing the complexity of the issue, Ajayi-Kadir emphasized the importance of avoiding actions that could inadvertently exacerbate the problem, advocating for strategic cooperation and dialogue between stakeholders to address the root causes of underage alcohol consumption.

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