Following its negative effects on underage Children, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has prohibited the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets.
According to NAFDAC, manufacturers were given a five-year window, which began 2008, to stop producing drinks in sachets and transition to bottles; this window ended on January 31, 2024.
In a press conference held on Monday, February 5th, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC stated that the ban was not sudden but rather a result of a multilateral Committee’s decision to phase out production gradually by reducing it by 50 percent before implementing an outright ban on January 31st, 2024.
Prof Adeyeye disclosed that NAFDAC decided to eliminate alcoholic beverages made in sachets because they have negative effects on underage children.
Due to their pocket-friendly sizes being accessible and affordable, children are easily lured into consuming them without realizing the consequences it may have later in life. This decision was based on recommendations made by high-powered committees from both the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC as well as the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Association of Food Beverages and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) representing different industries.
Prof Adeyeye also noted that under-aged individuals who consume these banned pack sizes are most at risk for adverse health outcomes alongside commercial vehicle drivers or ‘’riders.
The World Health Organization states that harmful consumption is linked with over two hundred health conditions including infectious diseases such as tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS along with non-communicable ones like liver cirrhosis or various types of cancer. Furthermore, alcohol abuse can lead to social problems such as addiction or gender-based violence.
To combat this issue effectively while remaining cost-effective Policy-Makers should consider regulating marketing strategies aimed towards younger people along with restricting availability according to recommendations made by WHO.
Manufacturers found still producing these products despite being aware of regulations face prosecution under Nigerian law; hence they must report any stockpiles immediately for destruction purposes promptly.’’
The commission reiterated its commitment towards safeguarding Nigerians’ health through strict implementation measures against reckless alcohol consumption particularly among vulnerable youths