February 12, 2024

Ban on spirits in sachets, PET bottles threatens N800bn investments — MAN

Ban on spirits in sachets, PET bottles threatens N800bn investments — MAN

•25 companies affected •5.5m direct, indirect jobs at risk

By Yinka Kolawole 

THE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said that the ban imposed on the production and sales of alcoholic drinks in sachets and PET bottles threatens investments worth over N800 billion that have been made by the 25 companies affected by the ban, putting over 5.5 million direct and indirect jobs at risk.

This was disclosed at a press conference organised by MAN, on Friday, in Lagos, to review the implications of the ban. 

Recall that the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had on February 5, 2024 announced the ban on production and sale of alcoholic beverages in sachets and less than 200ml PET bottles.

Speaking on the development, the Executive Secretary, Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), Mr. John Ichue, said: “25 companies are affected, with an investment outlay of over N800 billion.

“Most of the money was borrowed from banks. And many of the companies have stocks that will last for more than two years.”

Earlier in his remarks, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stated: “It is important to know that the industries have invested hundreds of billions of naira not only in the business, but overtime, in packaging and distribution. Most of the huge investments are backed by enormous indebtedness to both foreign and local financial institutions.

“It should also be borne in mind that prior to the investment made by the companies, in the packaging, distribution, logistics and advertisement of their products, the necessary approvals were obtained thus prompting them to make the said investments.  “This is what the ban is going to wreck for no justifiable reason.”

The MAN DG further said: “The proposed policy would amount to unnecessary and avoidable debilitation of the business of local and indigenous investors who through thick and thin have kept faith with the Nigerian economy. 

“They have continued to invest and reinvest at enormous cost in the economy and in the Nigerian people who are the bulk of its nearly 500, 000 direct workforce. 

“By the time you factor in the workforce involved in the value chain of packaging and distribution of these products, the total direct and indirect jobs that would be threatened by the ban are more than 5.5 million. “This is in spite of the daunting challenges that businesses have faced in the difficult times, which if we must emphasize, has led to several companies closing down and foreign investors leaving the country.”

Ajayi-Kadir added: “It must be explicitly stated that moderation and responsible drinking promote good health. Small is good, if you buy small you will consume small. If you buy big you will consume big, this is not healthy.”