Reps oppose NAFDAC over ban on sachet alcohol drinks

David OputahFebruary 8, 20243 min

The proposed ban by NAFDAC on sachet alcohol drinks runs contrary to the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and runs against the Economic Recovery Plan of the current administration.

The House of Representatives has frowned at the ban on sachets alcoholic drinks by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and therefore resolved to investigate the basis and circumstances surrounding the ban.

NAFDAC had announced the imposition of a ban on the production of beverages in sachets and small bottles in Nigeria.

The resolution by the House followed the adoption of a motion titled, “Need to Suspend the Ban Imposed by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the Production of Beverages in Sachets and Small Bottles in Nigeria moved by Rep. Paschal Agbodike (APGA, Anambra),  Rep. Philip Agbese (APC, Benue) and others

While presenting the motion Agbodike noted that Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empowers the National Assembly to make laws for the order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof.

Adding that Sections 88(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly including National Agency for Food and Dmg Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The lawmaker also pointed out that NAFDAC had announced its decision to stop the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles in January 2024 when the Director-General of the Agency informed the public that the agency would ensure that the validity of renewal of already registered products will not exceed January 2024.

“The decision to ban the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles runs counter to the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and runs against the Economic Recovery Plan of the current administration,” he said.

He therefore expressed concern that given the numerous economic challenges confronting poor Nigerians, the ban on the production of the said beverages will cause more havoc and cause job losses for over 50% of the workers in Nigeria.

“The need to encourage the sustainability of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are the greatest employer of labour in Nigeria, employing over 84% of the workforce in Nigeria, NAFDAC’s policy to place a ban on the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles will be counterproductive,” he declared.

“The decision to place a ban on the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles will encourage unscrupulous elements to go about the production of such drinks and products without recourse to NAFDAC.

“The ban on the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles will work more hardship on Nigerians whose livelihoods come from the production and sale of such beverages and will, in the long run, plunge more Nigerians into unemployment and economic hardship and cause them to suffer more in view of the current subsidy removal regime”

David Oputah

Oputah David M is a Bloomberg-trained Journalist with a diversified experience in online journalism and newsroom management. He is a 2023 MTN Media Innovation fellow!

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