National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has stopped the registration of alcohol in sachets and small volume Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and glass bottles below 200ml.
The agency also introduced other stringent regulatory measures.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, said registration of new alcoholic drinks in sachets, small volume PET and glass bottles above 30 per cent ABV (Alcohol By Volume) has been banned by the agency.
She said the move followed the recommendation of a high-powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC in December 2018. Other parties involved are Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC); Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE) and Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN).
Adeyeye said NAFDAC will ensure that renewal of already registered alcoholic products in the affected category will not exceed 2024, stressing that this measure will help to curb abuse of alcohol in the country.
She explained that manufacturers of low volume alcohol beverages (200ml) with satisfactory laboratory reports, which were already submitted to NAFDAC for registration before this decision, have been directed to reformulate their products to stipulated standards free of charge.
According to her, DIBAN was also given a marching order to embark on intensive nationwide campaigns against underage consumption of alcohol, to stem the tide of alcohol abuse.
The NAFDAC boss said producers of alcohol in sachets and small volumes agreed to reduce production by 50 per cent with effect from January 31, 2020, while ensuring the products are completely phased out by January 31, 2024.
Adeyeye said: “Even as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, NAFDAC is committed to strict implementation of regulatory measures to safeguard the health of Nigerians, especially vulnerable youths, against the dangers of reckless consumption of alcohol.”
MEANWHILE, Chairman/Chief Executive of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), has said a task force is currently working across the country to track and dismantle drug cartels behind the production and distribution of methamphetamine, popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri.
He disclosed this at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, during a press briefing to mark his first anniversary as NDLEA boss.
“We have set up a special task force to face that challenge and very soon you will hear and see the results of our efforts,” Marwa said, challenging communities across Nigeria to take ownership of the war against drug abuse.
He further listed the agency’s achievements in 2021. These include the arrest of 12,306 suspects, including seven drug barons; conviction of 1,400 offenders; seizure of over 3.4 million kilograms of assorted drugs and cash worth over N130 billion; and counselling and rehabilitation of 7,761 drug users.