NAFDAC moves to cut alcohol consumption in Nigeria

…bans drinks in sachet, bottles below 200ml

In a bold move to cut alcohol consumption and its abuse, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned the registration of alcohol in a sachet, small volume glass, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles below 200ml.

The director-general of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye who announced this in Abuja, said the agency has also restricted the registration of new alcoholic drinks in sachet, small volume PET, and glass bottles above 30 percent ABV (alcohol by volume).

The DG said the measures followed the recommendation of a high powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC on one hand, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and industry represented by the Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) in December 2018.

Adeyeye said the agency will ensure that the validity of the renewal of already registered alcoholic products in the affected category will not exceed the year 2024.

The director-general explained that manufacturers of low volume alcohol beverages (200ml) with satisfactory laboratory reports, which were already submitted to NAFDAC for registration before this decision, have been directed to reformulate their products to stipulated standards free of charge.

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According to her, DIBAN has also been given a matching order to embark on intensive nationwide sensitisation campaigns against underage consumption of alcohol by adolescents below the age of 18 years in the bid to stem the tide of alcohol abuse in the country.

She explained that the producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume agreed to reduce production by 50 percent with effect from January 31, 2020, while ensuring the products are completely phased out in the country by January 31, 2024.

“Even as we grapple with the containment of COVID-19 pandemic, NAFDAC is resolutely committed to the strict implementation of the regulations and regulatory measures towards safeguarding the health of Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable youths against the dangers of reckless consumption of alcohol,” Adeyeye reiterated.

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