Some members of the Food, Beverages and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) were at the office of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to appeal for the reversal of the ban on production of alcohol in sachets.
Mr Jimoh Oyibo, the National President of FOBTOB, an affiliate of Trade Union Congress (TUC), who spoke on behalf of the association, made the appeal and submitted a letter containing the demands of the union.
BRANDPOWER reports that the NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, at a news conference on Monday Feb. 5, announced the ban on alcohol in sachet and small bottles below 200ml.
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 said the decision aligned with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, and for policy-makers to regulate marketing of alcoholic beverages to young people, with the goal of controlling and restricting the availability of the products.
The NAFDAC boss explained that alcoholic products have adverse impact on younger generation, who should be safeguarded through necessary regulations such as the ban.
However, the FOBTOB national president said that the ban would seriously affect members of the union, adding that a good number of members work in the distilling and blending companies.
According to him, available data shows that more than 5,000 Nigerians work in the distilling and blending sector of the country’s economy.
He said that the ban had led to the closure of some companies, adding that “the companies 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 of the ban and the spiral effect on families who depend on the workers is huge.
“Another effect is that it will promote smuggling, as unscrupulous elements will leverage the ban to flood markets with dangerous adulterated
products, given the porosity of our borders.”
Oyibo, therefore, urged NAFDAC to consider the union’s demands.
Mr Adeyemi Omolehin, the Deputy Director, Human Resources, NAFDAC, who addressed the association members, promised to convey their message to the agency’s director-general.