The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small bottles below 200ml.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, announced the ban at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
Adeyeye said that the move 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 Organisation (WHO) for policy-makers to regulate the marketing of alcoholic beverages to young people, with the goal of controlling and restricting the availability of the products.
She explained that the alcoholic products had an adverse negative impact on the younger generation, who should be safeguarded by necessary regulations, such as the ban.
According to her, the WHO had 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.
The NAFDAC boss recalled that the agency in January 2022, suspended the registration of alcoholic beverages in sachet and small volume PET and Glass bottles below 200ml.
She said 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.
“As 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 per cent with effect from 31st January 2022.
She said the product would be completely phased out in the country by Jan. 31.
“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,“ she said.
She further 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.
The NAFDAC boss also mentioned that harmful alcohol consumption had been associated with the cause of certain social problems, such as Gender Based Violence.
Adeyeye said that to curb the menace of abuse of alcohol, the WHO had recommended certain actions and strategies to policy makers, which had shown to be cost effective.