The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration, and Control (NAFDAC) arrested three people after raiding certain alcohol and beverage companies in Jos, Plateau State’s capital.
Umar Suleiman, the Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer of NAFDAC’s Federal Taskforce, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, confirmed the arrest in Jos on Friday.
Businesses, such as Bozak International Investment in the Busa Buji neighbourhood and Good Life Global Beverages in the Farin-Gada community, have been sealed.
Suleiman said that the arrest and sealing of their business places followed the expiration of the deadline earlier given by NAFDAC for the ban on the production of alcoholic drinks in sachets to become operational in the country.
He said the uncontrolled access and availability of high-concentration alcohol in sachets and small volume or glass bottles have been put forward as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with its negative impact on society.
The NAFDAC official said, “This activity NAFDAC is conducting is a nationwide operation because deadline has been given for producers of alcoholic beverages to phase out 100ml and those in sachets and the rest so that we reduce the menace of abuse of alcohol by the youth and the general public.
“The public alert was issued to all the producers since 2018 by the Director General of NAFDAC. So we have given enough time and of course, January 31, 2024 is the deadline and that is why we swung into action to enforce the ban.
“We have started with the producers now and later, we move to the people themselves so that we do justice to everybody. Producers are the ones producing these products and we have warned them severally and now, we are going round to see whether they are complying, but if they are not, then we take action.”
The NAFDAC official said the raid on business places to enforce compliance with the ban would be a continuous exercise.
Suleiman, who also urged the public not to consume products that had not been registered by the agency, adding, “Some products have been registered, but others have not. We will continue to monitor the producers to guarantee their compliance with the directive. Consumers should be aware that some of these goods are not suitable for ingestion because they are simply packaging concoctions that will be distributed to individuals in the name of alcohol.
“So, if you want to buy your product that is registered with NAFDAC, do your findings and make sure you buy a registered product. It is also within the rights of the people to know how these products are produced because if you know, then you have the right to seek help because you are the end-user”
The Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, and Industry recommended in December 2018 that the sale of inferior alcoholic products in sachets and PET bottles be prohibited nationwide. NAFDAC implemented this ban nationwide in 2022.
Alcohol in sachets, small-volume PET bottles, and glass bottles under 200 millilitres would no longer be registered by NAFDAC, according to Director-General Mojisola Adeyeye of the organisation.
The restriction has been criticised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, which claims that it will only result in further job losses in the industrial sector.