NAFDAC lifts ban on sachet alcoholic beverages after intense pressure

The House committee said it reached an agreement with NAFDAC for a temporary lifting of the ban on alcoholic beverages pending the full recovery of the economy.

NAFDAC bows to pressure, agrees to lift ban on sachet alcoholic beverages

The decision was disclosed by the deputy spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Philip Agbese, who said the House and the agency had reached a resolution on the matter.

NAFDAC had announced a ban on the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles, citing the prevailing cases of drug abuse in the country, especially by some young Nigerians.

However, the agency has been under intense pressure from various stakeholders to reconsider the ban based on the several benefits of the products to the manufacturers and their contribution to the economy.

This prompted the House of Representatives to wade into the matter in February 2024, mandating its committee on NAFDAC to probe the circumstances surrounding the ban.

This followed a motion moved during plenary by members, Paschal Agbodike and Agbese.

Meanwhile, briefing journalists at the National Assembly Complex on Friday, June 14, 2024, Agbese said the resolution to temporarily lift the ban was arrived at after a meeting between the House Committee and NAFDAC officials.

The Benue State lawmaker noted that the lifting of the ban would end when the economy fully recovers from its current strain.

“We all agreed at the meeting that at a certain stage in history, we must move on with our counterparts across the globe. Nevertheless, at the moment, we agreed with NAFDAC that there would be a temporary lifting of the ban until the economy regains its strength,” he said.

On how the decision was arrived at, Agbese said, “We had engagements with stakeholders, including NAFDAC and the organised private sector involved. Resolutions were reached at that meeting based on the submissions made by the stakeholders, civil society organisations and other interested parties.

“Part of the recommendations before the parliament was that the ban was not timely given the current economic realities and coupled with the fact that the five-year moratorium granted by NAFDAC to the private sector, the advent of COVID-19 and other economic realities we are facing today did not permit the operators in the industry to comply with their terms.”

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