By Joseph Erunke
THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has stopped the registration of alcohol in sachets, small volumes and glass bottles below 200ml amid other stringent regulatory measures.
This came as the agency re-affirmed its commitment to implementation of stringent regulations against alcohol abuse nationwide.
In a statement Monday, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, explained that the development was part of the agency’s decisive move to reduce availability and curb abuse of alcohol in the country.
Adeyeye insisted that the registration of new alcoholic drinks in sachet and small volume PET and glass bottles above 30 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) has been banned, following the recommendation of a high powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC on one hand, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission,FCCPC,and Industry represented by Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers ,AFBTE, Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) in December, 2018.
Adeyeye said the agency will ensure that validity of renewal of already registered alcoholic products in the affected category will not exceed year 2024.
“The Director-General explained that manufacturers of low volume alcohol beverages (200ml) with satisfactory laboratory reports, which were already submitted to NAFDAC for registration before this decision, have been directed to reformulate their products to stipulated standards free of charge,”the statement said.
She saidDIBAN was also given a marching order to embark on intensive nation-wide 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.
She explained that the Producers of Alcohol in Sachets and Small volume agreed to reduce production by 50 percent with effect from January 31st 2020 while ensuring the products are completely phased out in the country by 31st January, 2024.
“Even as we grapple with the containment of COVID-19 pandemic, NAFDAC is resolutely 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, Prof. Adeyeye reiterated,”the statement also said.