The Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadir has disputed claims by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) regarding the recent ban on sachet alcoholic drinks.
Ajayi-Kadir at a press conference in Lagos on Friday, insisted that contrary to NAFDAC’s assertion, the decision to implement the ban was not a collective one.
“NAFDAC’s claim of a collective decision is unfounded,” declared Ajayi-Kadir. “The Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria, a sub-sector under MAN, had expressed reservations over the planned ban.”
Ajayi-Kadir stated that despite initial objections, the association participated in the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at addressing concerns raised.
However, he underscored the lack of adequate consideration given to the ban’s impact on manufacturers, workers, citizens, and the economy.
“The ban overlooks the potential economic repercussions and disregards the principle of responsible consumption,” Ajayi-Kadir asserted. “Bigger sizes encourage excessive drinking, while smaller portions promote moderation.”
The MAN DG called on NAFDAC to reconsider its approach and instead focus on collaborative efforts to address issues of underage drinking and irresponsible consumption.
He advocated tighter regulations and access control rather than an outright ban on certain product sizes.
Meanwhile, amidst growing discontent, members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) staged protests in Ikeja, Lagos State, against the ban on sachet alcoholic drinks. Protesters highlighted the adverse effects of the ban on their livelihoods, brandishing placards to express their grievances.
In response to the mounting pressure, NAFDAC faces calls to reevaluate its strategy and engage stakeholders in a dialogue aimed at achieving a balanced approach to alcohol regulation.
The discord between regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders underscores the need for a comprehensive and inclusive approach to address public health concerns while safeguarding economic interests and livelihoods.