Distillers Association under Manufacturers body petitions Presidency over sachet alcohol ban

Members of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), a sub- group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, ( MAN) has formally written a petition to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to prevail on NAFDAC from going- ahead with its proposed ban on the alcohol in satchets as produced by their members.

The group stated that if the proposed ban is not stopped, over 6 million jobs would be lost while several companies would close down as this will lead to several loss of revenues to the federal government.

In a full page advertorial signed by DIBAN Chairman, Mr Patrick Anegbe and Executive Secretary, Sir John Ichue called for urgent presidency intervention in the action which have been creating huge apprehension in the manufacturing sector.

DIBAN which represents over 24 corporate entities, firms and multinationals, collectively engaged in the production and manufacturing of wines and spirits, with a notable emphasis on utilizing local resources is alarmed at NAFDAC proposed action at this time of gloomy national economic situation.

DIBAN in the petition articulated a comprehensive rebuttal, stating its reservations and apprehensions regarding the ban’s justifications and anticipated consequences.

The letter read in part, “DIBAN’S investment is worth over N500bn. Indirect investments of other companies having one business or the other to do with DIBAN is also worth over N800bn.

“DIBAN’S contribution to the economy of Nigeria is worth over N1.2tn. There are over 500,000 employees in the direct employment of DIBAN. DIBAN also provided indirect employment or work for over 5 million people.”

In contesting the rationale of the ban, DIBAN has mounted a robust defense, challenging the veracity of claims by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the regulatory entity spearheading the prohibition campaign. NAFDAC’s assertion of sachet and PET bottle alcohol’s role in worsening underage alcohol consumption and facilitating substance abuse, particularly through the alleged incorporation of hard drugs, has been met with denial and skepticism by DIBAN.

“If NAFDAC takes away small sizes, the Agency is simply encouraging excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages,” it said.
DIBAN recommended a course of action by urging the president to issue either a directive to NAFDAC or an Executive Order aimed at promptly rescinding the ban imposed by NAFDAC on the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles. Additionally, it advocated for the establishment of licensed liquor stores or outlets overseen by Local Government Areas throughout Nigeria.
Rather than enforcing an absolute prohibition, DIBAN proposed that the government prioritize enhanced monitoring and compliance measures conducted by regulatory bodies such as NAFDAC, FCCPC, NDLEA, and other governmental agencies to uphold stringent standards for product quality and safety. It cautioned that failure to reverse the current regulatory stance could result in the loss of investments totaling N1.2 trillion and the displacement of 5.5 million individuals from their livelihoods.

“The Federal and State Governments will lose huge revenue streams from Excise Duty, VAT, PAYE, Corporate Tax and other revenues that should have accrued to these Governments,” DIBAN said.

NAFDAC initiated the enforcement of a previously communicated ban on sachet and PET bottle alcohol on February 1, 2024. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, attributed the ban to a collective recommendation put forth by a committee comprising representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. In response, MAN contested NAFDAC’s assertion, maintaining that its members did not support the decision to prohibit products categorized as blacklisted.


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