Reps Probe Ban on Alcoholic Drinks in Sachets

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The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to investigative the basis and circumstance surrounding the ban imposed the production of beverages in sachets and small bottles in Nigeria by the agency.

The resolution of the lawmakers was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Paschal Agbodike and Hon. Philip Agbese at the plenary, Wednesday.

Moving the motion titled ‘Need to suspend the ban imposed by NAFDAC on production of beverages in sachet’, Hon. Agbodike noted that section 4(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empowers the National Assembly to make laws for the order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof.

He also noted that Sections 88(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empower the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by NAFDAC.

He recalled that NAFDAC had announced its decision to stop the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles in January 2024 when the Director-General of the Agency informed the public that the agency will ensure that the validity of renewal of already registered products will not exceed January 2024.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that the decision to ban the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles runs counter to the spirit and letter of the Constitution and runs against the Economic Recovery Plan of the current administration.

Agbodike also expressed concern that given the numerous economic challenges confronting poor Nigerians, the ban on the production of the said beverages will work more havoc and cause job losses for over 50% of the workers in Nigeria.

He said the House is aware of the need to encourage the sustainability of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, hence NAFDAC’s policy to place a ban on the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles will be counterproductive.

He said the House is also aware that the decision to place a ban on the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles will encourage unscrupulous elements to go about the production of such drinks and products without recourse to NAFDAC.

Agbodike added that the ban on the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles will work more hardship on Nigerians whose livelihoods come from the production and sale of such beverages and will, in the long run, plunge more Nigerians into unemployment and economic hardship and cause them to suffer more in view of the current subsidy removal regime.

Adopting the motion, the lawmakers gave the committee four weeks to carryout the investigation and report back for further legislative action.