By Victor Uzoho
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has stopped the registration of alcohol in sachets, small volume PET and glass bottles below 200 millilitres.
Specifically, the Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, in a statement yesterday, said the Agency has banned forthwith the registration of new alcoholic drinks in sachet and small volume PET and glass bottles above 30% alcohol.
She explained that the decision became imperative following the recommendation of a high-powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and Industry (FCCPCI), in December 2018.
Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria was also given a matching order to embark on intensive nationwide sensitisation campaigns against underage consumption of alcohol by adolescents below the age of 18 years in the bid to stem the tide of alcohol abuse in the country.
The committee also included the Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers and Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (AFBTEDBAN).
Adeyeye also assured that the Agency would ensure that the validity of the renewal of already registered alcoholic products in the affected category does not exceed 2024.
She added that manufacturers of low volume alcohol beverages (200ml) with satisfactory laboratory reports already submitted to NAFDAC for registration before the decision have been directed to reformulate their products to the stipulated standards free of charge.
She said: “Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria was also given a matching order to embark on intensive nationwide sensitisation campaigns against underage consumption of alcohol by adolescents below the age of 18 years in the bid to stem the tide of alcohol abuse in the country.
“Producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume agreed to reduce production by 50 per cent with effect from January 31st, 2022, while ensuring the products are completely phased out in the country by 31st January 2024.
“The agency is committed to the strict implementation of the regulations and regulatory measures towards safeguarding the health of Nigerians particularly the vulnerable youths against the dangers of reckless consumption of alcohol.”