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Distillers protest NAFDAC ban on sachet alcohol



Employees of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) staged a protest on Tuesday at the Lagos office of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

This demonstration marks the latest in a series of actions protesting the agency’s recent ban on alcoholic beverages in sachets and glass bottles below 200ml, implemented on February 1st, 2024.

Protest and Demands:

Carrying placards with messages like “Let poor Nigerians breathe” and “Let beverage workers breathe,” DIBAN members voiced their concerns about the ban’s impact on both consumers and industry workers.

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Their demands reportedly include:

Reviewing the ban: Seeking reconsideration of the policy and engaging in dialogue with stakeholders.

Mitigating job losses: Addressing the potential loss of employment across the beverage industry caused by the ban.

Alternative solutions: Exploring alternative measures to address public health concerns related to sachet alcohol.

NAFDAC’s Rationale and Next Steps:

NAFDAC’s stated rationale for the ban hinges on curbing public health issues associated with the consumption of sachet alcohol, particularly among minors and low-income groups. The agency maintains that alternative packaging formats promote responsible consumption and discourage underage drinking.

However, DIBAN’s protest highlights the potential economic and social consequences of the ban, raising questions about its effectiveness and the need for stakeholder engagement. Analyzing the long-term impact of the ban and its potential alternatives will be crucial in the coming months.

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