The Federal Government has disclosed that plans are being concluded to begin gradual phase-out of high concentration of alcohol in sachet and small Polyethylene Terephthalate and glass bottles in the country.
It explained that the move had become imperative after statistics showed that the availability of high concentration alcohol in sachets was a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria.
The Director-General, National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said that the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in sachets, small volume glass, and PET bottles had been a concern to the apex government and that the Federal Ministry of Health had given approval for the ban of such products.
Through a statement released to newsmen on Sunday, Adeyeye quoted the World Health Organisation reports that alcohol consumption contributes to three million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people.
“These concerns relate to negative effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption on public health and on the safety and security of the public, alcohol being a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties. Uncontrolled access and availability of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles has been put forward as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with its negative impact on the society.
“NAFDAC with full support of the Federal Ministry of Health has continued to exercise its regulatory responsibilities by ensuring that all alcoholic beverages and other regulated products approved by the agency meet set standards of quality, safety, and wholesomeness. The Federal Ministry of Health is concerned about the high incidence of substance and alcohol abuse in the country and NAFDAC, being the competent authority and working with relevant stakeholders, is increasing efforts to stem this.
“With regard to alcohol, major stakeholders have been engaged at the highest level and are already sensitised to the issue. To this end, several interventions jointly agreed upon by major stakeholders are being undertaken and as a first step, no new products in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles above 30 per cent ABV will be registered by NAFDAC.
“Furthermore, to reduce availability and curb abuse, effective January 31 2021, producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume PET and glass bottles are to reduce production by 50 per cent of capacity prior to January 2020. The overall goal is a complete phase-out of high concentration alcohol in sachets and small PET and glass bottles in line with the agreed roadmap or earlier.”