Sachet alcohol, PET bottles ban will erode investors` confidence – FOBTOB

“We are of the opinion that NAFDAC should concentrate on working with the relevant government agencies to prevent and confiscate smuggled products."

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Sachet alcohol, PET bottles ban will erode investors` confidence - FOBTOBThe Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) says that the ban on alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles could erode investors` confidence in the nation’s economy.

The association said this when it picketed the headquarters of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Abuja on Tuesday.

NAFDAC had announced a ban on the production and sales of alcoholic products in sachets and pet bottles below 200ml, saying it was meant to protect minors.

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The agency also said the alcohol level of PET bottles and sachets was thirty per cent, compared to four to eight per cent in beer.

FOBTOB is an affiliate under the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria.

“The ban will erode investors’ confidence in our economy. This should not be added to the hydra-headed challenges that our economy is facing already,” Mr Oyibo Jimoh, National President , FOBTOB.

He said it was unjust that government would take such an action without taking into account the thousands of businesses and jobs that will be negatively affected.

According to him, if the ban is not lifted, it could result in the government losing revenue, promoting smuggling into the nation, undermining investor confidence, and further depressing the economy.

He said that most of its members worked in distilling and blending companies and from available data, more than 500,000 Nigerian workers were in the distilling and blending sector of our economy.

“Our association considers the NAFDAC action as a willful and deliberate economic sabotage as the implementation is coming at a time when the economy is on a downward spiral.

“Workers in these companies pay various forms of taxes to the government at different levels while the companies in the sector also contribute significantly to the economy through job creation and taxes.

“The sector is a chain from the producer to the major marketers, distributors, and retailers. The impact on the families of millions of Nigerians who are dependent on these workers is indescribable’’, he said.

Jimoh also said that the ban was ill-timed and ill-advised, saying that the Federal Government should rather support businesses to stay afloat rather than place bans.

Jimoh further said that the argument that the used-sachets litter the environment would be easily addressed if the government invests in and encourages recycling.

“This will support the government’s plan to create jobs, which will in tum result in more revenue for the government in form of company and personal
income tax.

“We are of the opinion that NAFDAC should concentrate on working with the relevant government agencies to prevent and confiscate smuggled products.

“Our Association, FOBTOB, is available to partner with NAFDAC to regulate the industry and make our products safe for the public.” he said.