- The NAFDAC Director general said enforcement of the ban commenced on February 1, 2024.
- The DG said NAFDAC did not issue renewal licenses exceeding January 2024 to any manufacturer of the products.
Alcoholic drinks made in sachets less than 200 millilitres are prohibited by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
According to the agency, the manufacturers of the items were given a five-year window starting in 2028 to cease producing the drinks in sachets and pet bottles, that window ended on January 31, 2024
The ban went into effect on February 1, 2024, the DG said
Speaking to the media about the development in Abuja on Monday, February 5, the director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, stated that the ban was not a sudden development but rather the outcome of a multilateral Committee that decided that the ban would be in phases, with production being reduced by 50% by 2020 and an outright ban coming in January, 31, 2024.
Given that decision, the DG said NAFDAC did not issue renewal licenses exceeding January 2024 to any manufacturer of the products.
According to her, the agency took the route of wiping out the drinks in such sachets because of the negative effects on underage children.
She said because the drinks come in pocket-friendly sizes, accessible and affordable, children easily fell for the packages only to face the consequences in the future.
She said: “This decision was based on the recommendation of a high-powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC on one hand, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and the Industry represented by the Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), in December 2018.
“As a commitment to the decision reached at the end of this Committee meeting, producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume agreed to reduce the production by 5 percent with effect from 31st January 2022 while ensuring the product is completely phased out in the country by 31st January 2024”.
According to her, the future of the country supersedes other considerations in the enforcement of the policy.
Noting that saving Nigerian children and protecting the health of the larger society is paramount, Adeyeye said: “The people who are mostly at risk of the negative effect of consumption of the banned pack sizes of alcoholic beverages are the under-aged and commercial vehicle drivers and riders.