The recent ban on sachet alcoholic drinks and PET bottles less than 200ml by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) is a threat to N800 billion worth of investments in the food and beverage subsector.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) disclosed this on Friday during a joint press conference on the ban held at MAN House, Ikeja, Lagos.
The manufacturers and distillers associations urged the federal government to intervene and reverse the ban to save the possible loss of investments in machines, raw materials and financial resources and save 5.5 million direct and indirect persons jobs.
The associations noted that they are not fighting with NAFDAC but working to reach a common ground to address both the health and business concerns in the wine and spirits subsector.
John Ichue, executive secretary of DIBAN, said the investors in this sector had invested over N800 billion and that the recent ban is a huge threat to the investment. He added that there are 5.5 million direct and indirect jobs that may also be in jeopardy if the ban by NAFDAC is allowed to stay.
The executive secretary noted that more than 25 companies in the wine and spirits sector in the country may be forced to close shop if the President did not intervene in reversing the ban.
Segun Ajayi-Kadir, director-general, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) highlighted the extensive efforts by the industry to promote responsible drinking and address underage consumption, noting that sustaining the ban implies an excess of 5.5 million jobs is at risk of being lost.
“Over N1 billion has been spent on campaigns for responsible consumption. Banning these products doesn’t just affect businesses, it affects lives,” Ajayi-Kadir said in his speech.
Also, Patrick Anegbe, CEO of Intercontinental Distillers, said the association had always preached responsible drinking and had mounted media campaigns on radio andTV kicking against underage drinking alcoholic beverages in sachets.
He noted that the association is on the same page with NAFDAC, stating that the same objective could be achieved through access control rather than outright ban.