The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has countered claims by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control that the recent implementation of the ban on sachet alcoholic drinks was a collective decision.
Speaking at a press conference held in Lagos on Friday, the Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, insisted 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.
NAFDAC had, in a statement released on Thursday, insisted that the ban, which affects alcoholic beverages in sachets and small-volume PET and glass bottles below 200ml, was a collective decision.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, said the ban was a collective recommendation of a committee and listed representatives in the committee as the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
She said, “It is also important to clarify that the implementation of the ban on alcohol in sachets and small-volume PET and glass bottles was not hasty.
“It is in line with the five-year phase-out plan of the affected presentations of alcoholic beverages, which started in January 2019 and ended on January 31, 2024.
“The five-year period granted to the industry stakeholders was a practical, reasonable, and sufficient time for full compliance with the phase-out of the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small-volume PET and glass bottles below 200ml.”
However, Ajayi-Kadir dismissed the claim by the regulator that the decision was a collective one.
According to the MAN DG, notwithstanding its earlier objections (to the immediacy of the ban), Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria participated in the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding, which was then signed (with evident reservations) on December 18, 2018, between the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, Consumer Protection Commission (now Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission) and Association of Food, Beverages, and Tobacco Employers and DIBAN to address the concerns raised at the time.
The goal, he said, was to enlighten citizens on responsible consumption, by supporting the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC to undertake the advocacy, messaging, training and education of the public.