In a turn of events, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has countered claims made by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) regarding the recent ban on sachet alcoholic drinks.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, MAN’s Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, disputed NAFDAC’s assertion that the ban was a collective decision.
Ajayi-Kadir stressed that members of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria, a sub-sector under MAN, had repeatedly expressed reservations over the planned implementation of the ban.
He emphasized that despite objections, the association participated in the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding back in 2018, albeit with evident reservations.
“The decision was not a collective one,” Ajayi-Kadir affirmed, highlighting concerns over the ban’s potential impact on manufacturers, workers, citizens, and the economy at large.
He argued that the ban, aimed at curbing irresponsible alcohol consumption, could prove counterproductive, as smaller sizes encourage portion control. He urged NAFDAC to reconsider its approach, advocating for tighter regulations and collaborative efforts to address underage drinking.
Meanwhile, tensions escalated as members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) took to the streets of Ikeja, Lagos, in protest against the ban.
Carrying placards expressing their grievances, protesters lamented the loss of livelihoods resulting from the ban, underscoring its adverse effects on businesses and employment.
As the controversy rages on, stakeholders await further developments, with the clash between regulatory measures and industry interests at the forefront of public discourse.