Home Health NAFDAC Lifts Ban on Sachet Alcohol Sales Temporarily After House of Reps Discussions
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NAFDAC Lifts Ban on Sachet Alcohol Sales Temporarily After House of Reps Discussions

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In this photo taken on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, a man bites on a plastic sachets containing alcohol in the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Each morning at dawn, taxi driver Rene Kouame stops by his neighborhood bar in Abidjan for a potent pick-me-up: two plastic sachets of "Che Guevara," a drink of spiced rum and a host of chemicals that costs 100 CFA francs, or about 15 U.S. cents. (AP Photo/Diomande Ble Blonde)

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has temporarily lifted the ban on the sale of alcohol in sachets and plastic bottles after discussions with the House of Representatives.

Philip Agbese, the Deputy spokesperson for the House, announced this on Friday in Abuja, stating that sales would continue until the economy recovers.

During the meeting, we all agreed that, at a certain point in history, it is essential to advance alongside our global counterparts. However, we also concurred with NAFDAC that there would be a temporary lifting of the ban until the economy recovers its strength, he said.

The House had earlier moved to investigate the reasons behind NAFDAC’s ban on sachet alcoholic beverages.

The House Committee on NAFDAC, led by Hon. Regina Akume, conducted an investigation, engaging with stakeholders, including NAFDAC officials, representatives from the private sector, and civil society organisations.

Agbese noted that stakeholder feedback indicated the ban was poorly timed due to current economic conditions.

The recommendations presented to parliament included the view that the ban was untimely given the current economic realities.

The five-year moratorium granted by NAFDAC, the impact of COVID-19, and other ongoing economic challenges have made it difficult for industry operators to comply with the terms, he said.

Following these discussions, parliament adopted the House Committee’s report, and NAFDAC, led by Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, agreed to suspend the ban considering the economic situation.

This decision reverses NAFDAC’s previous ban, which aimed to address health concerns from alcohol consumption in sachets and plastic bottles.

The ban, effective from January 31, 2024, targeted the accessibility of cheap sachet alcohol, which is believed to contribute to excessive drinking and health issues.

The ban faced opposition from various groups. Industry operators warned of economic losses and job cuts. Civil society and consumer groups were concerned about the financial impact on small retailers and consumers. The Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers of Nigeria (ASPWAP) argued the ban would hurt small businesses and increase alcohol prices, suggesting a phased regulation approach instead.

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