The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned the production of alcoholic drinks in sachets and small bottles below 200ml.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, announced the ban at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, February 5, 2024.
Adeyeye said the ban was aimed at discouraging its consumption by youths who easily accessed the products in such containers at an affordable cost.
She added that the decision aligned with recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) for policy-makers to regulate the marketing of alcoholic drinks to young people, with the goal of controlling and restricting the availability of the products.
The NAFDAC boss said the sachets alcoholic drinks had an adverse negative impact on youths, who should be safeguarded by necessary regulations, such as the ban.
According to her, the WHO established that children who consume alcohol are more likely to use drugs, get bad grades, suffer injury or death, engage in risky sexual activity, make bad decisions, and have health challenges.
Adeyeye further recalled that NAFDAC, in January 2022, suspended the registration of sachets alcoholic drinks and small volume PET and Glass bottles below 200ml.
She stated that the decision was based on the recommendation of a high-powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and other relevant agencies.
She said: “On the part of the agency, NAFDAC committed to ensure that the validity of renewal of already registered alcoholic products in the affected category does not exceed the year 2024.
“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.”
The NAFDAC DG explained that harmful consumption of alcohol was being linked to more than 200 health conditions, including infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and non-communicable conditions such as liver cirrhosis and cancer.
Adeyeye added that harmful alcohol consumption had been associated with the cause of certain social problems, such as Gender Based Violence.
She said to curb the menace of abuse of alcohol, the WHO recommended certain actions and strategies to policymakers, which had shown to be cost-effective.