NIGERIA – Nigeria through the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is seeking to completely phase out production of alcoholic drinks in sachets by 2023/2024.
NAFDAC is a federal agency under the Ministry of Health that is responsible for regulating and controlling the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and packaged water in Nigeria.
According to reports by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye indicated that the ban will be done in phases.
The process is planned to be completed by the end of 2023 or first week of 2024.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is concerned about the high incidence of substance and alcohol abuse in the country and NAFDAC, being the competent authority and working with relevant stakeholders, is increasing efforts to stem this.”Director-General of NAFDAC – Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye
The move has been triggered by rising concerns relate to negative effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption on public health.
In addition, it poses threat to the safety and security of the public and leads to high rate of alcohol dependency in addition to having toxic and psychoactive substance.
This, according to Prof. Adeyeye has been contributed by the uncontrolled access and availability of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small volume Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) or glass bottles.
“NAFDAC with full support of the Federal Ministry of Health has continued to exercise its regulatory responsibilities by ensuring that all alcoholic beverages and other regulated products approved by the agency meet set standards of quality, safety and wholesomeness,” said Prof. Adeyeye.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is concerned about the high incidence of substance and alcohol abuse in the country and NAFDAC, being the competent authority and working with relevant stakeholders, is increasing efforts to stem this,” she added.
To bring a fitting resolution to the matter, NAFDAC and the Ministry of Health have met with the stakeholders of the alcohol industry and urged the distillers’ association to reduce the level of alcohol drinks in sachets, pending the time, the deadline will elapse.
They have also been tasked to run a social responsibility campaign against underage drinking, adding that a jingle would soon be on air in this regard.
“NAFDAC and Federal Ministry of Heath also have to think about the society, we had series of meetings at the ministry. We all agreed that we are going to carry out the ban in phases,” she said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that alcohol consumption contributes to three million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people.
In 2019, Nigerians consumed over 13 liters of alcohol per capita, making it the leading country in terms of alcohol consumption per capita that year, indicated Statista.
The Kingdom of Eswatini and South Africa ranked second and third respectively, with just under ten liters per person.
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