NAFDAC Under Fire For Disregarding House Resolution On Alcohol Packaging Ban

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Alcohol in sachets small bottles

Concerned Citizens of Nigeria (CONCON) have criticised the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for not complying with a House of Representatives resolution on banning alcohol packaging in the country.

National president of CONCON, Comr. Peter Chichi Harry expressed this to newsmen in Abuja.

The resolution directed NAFDAC to lift the ban on packaging alcohol in sachets and PET bottles smaller than 200ml. This decision was based on a report by the House Committee on Food and Drugs Administration and Control, which argued that the ban should be suspended due to its adverse economic impacts during a time of high unemployment, inflation and foreign exchange scarcity.

CONCON emphasised that enforcing the ban could lead to significant job losses and reduced GDP, particularly affecting low-income individuals who rely on these affordable alcohol options.

Despite CONCON’s efforts, NAFDAC has not adhered to the resolution, citing a ministerial directive and international accords aimed at limiting alcohol access to youth. CONCON criticised NAFDAC’s stance, suggesting it contradicts the House’s thorough deliberations and the broader national interest. 

CONCON is calling for immediate compliance with the House resolution and urging other civil rights organisations, NGOs, and the media to support this cause. They also questioned NAFDAC’s suitability for its role, accusing it of undermining the Nigerian democratic system and the current administration’s pro-business policies.

NAFDAC has already started enforcing its ban on the importation, manufacture, distribution, sale and use of alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET and glass bottles of 200ml and below. The agency’s director-general, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye announced this at a press conference in Abuja.

NAFDAC’s decision to stop registering alcoholic beverages in sachets and small volume PET and glass bottles below 200ml was first implemented in January 2022, following a recommendation from a high-powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, and industry representatives. The phased reduction aimed to completely eliminate these products by January 31, 2024.

Adeyeye emphasised NAFDAC’s commitment to safeguarding public health, particularly that of vulnerable youth, against the dangers of alcohol consumption. She cited WHO findings linking harmful alcohol consumption to over 200 health conditions and various social problems, reinforcing the need for strict regulation and enforcement of the ban.

Racheal Abujah
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