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NAFDAC insists on sachet alcohol ban, hoodlums attack officials



NAFDAC insists on sachet alcohol ban hoodlums attack officials

The ban on sachet alcohol by NAFDAC is still in effect despite resistance from industry workers and unions. NAFDAC’s Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, reaffirmed the ban, emphasizing its importance for the safety and well-being of Nigerians. The ban targets alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET, and glass bottles of 200ml and below, aimed at preventing easy concealment by children and reducing the risk of harm.

NAFDAC clarified that the ban does not extend to alcohol production in larger bottles but specifically targets packaging that can be easily hidden. The agency emphasizes the potential danger of these easily concealable alcohol containers, citing the risk they pose to children’s lives. NAFDAC is resolute in its decision to uphold the ban, putting the safety of Nigerians at the forefront.

On the other hand, the Executive Secretary of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria, John Ichue, contested the ban, stating that the memorandum of understanding signed with NAFDAC in 2018 should not be considered a formal policy document. He argued for a national alcohol policy and raised concerns about the potential rise of illicit alcohol circulation due to the ban, referring to similar failed initiatives in other countries.

In a separate incident, NAFDAC officials were attacked by drug hawkers and touts in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during a raid of fake, unregistered, and counterfeit drugs at the Area One Motor Park. The enforcement team, accompanied by mobile policemen, encountered resistance from the hawkers and touts, prompting the use of tear gas and warning shots to disperse the attackers. Amid the chaos, two NAFDAC vehicles were vandalized.

Following the raid, the Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, Federal Task Force, NAFDAC, Umar Suleiman, reported that controlled drugs with an estimated value of about N5m were seized. The confiscated medications included Rohypnol, Dizapam, Tramadol, Cocodamol, and aphrodisiac, among others. Suleiman highlighted the necessity of armed personnel during such operations, emphasizing the challenges faced while carrying out enforcement activities.

The incidents underscore the contentious nature of NAFDAC’s ban on sachet alcohol and the continued efforts to confront the illicit drug trade in Nigeria.