Ban on Alcohol In Sachets Is Economic Sabotage, Says NECA

In a twist to the ban on alcohol packaging in sachets and small-sized bottles by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has come out swinging, branding the move as nothing short of economic sabotage.

NECA, the overarching body representing employers in Nigeria, minced no words in its condemnation of the ban, viewing it as a detrimental blow to businesses within the manufacturing sector.

According to NECA’s Director-General, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, the timing couldn’t be worse, given the precarious state of the economy, skyrocketing unemployment rates, and the porous state of border security.

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Oyerinde emphasized, “The ban by NAFDAC will further drag businesses into the precipice and escalate the current unemployment rate in the country.” He pointed out the potential for increased smuggling activities, with nefarious elements exploiting the ban to flood the market with dangerous, adulterated products through unguarded entry points.

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The ban, announced by NAFDAC earlier this week, prohibits the production, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small bottles of 200ml and below. While NAFDAC claims to have engaged stakeholders, including distilleries, NECA argues that the move disregards the significant role the beverage and alcoholic industry plays in job creation and tax revenue generation.

While acknowledging the need to address alcohol abuse, Oyerinde stressed the importance of prioritizing business sustainability, employment generation, and poverty reduction. He called for a reversal of the ban and urged for increased efforts to combat underage drinking and drunk driving.

In a plea for reconsideration, Oyerinde called on NAFDAC to engage in further dialogue with relevant associations, including the Distillers Association and transportation unions, to avert the adverse economic and social repercussions of the ban.

NECA’s stance underscores the complex interplay between public health concerns and economic imperatives, highlighting the need for a balanced approach to regulatory decisions.

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