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Reps To Probe NAFDAC’s Ban On Alcoholic Beverages In Sachets

The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to probe the circumstances surrounding the ban imposed on the production of beverages in sachets and small bottles in Nigeria by the agency.

This was sequel to a motion moved on the floor of the Green Chamber by members Paschal Agbodike and Philip Agbese during the plenary session on Wednesday.

Recall that in January this year, NAFDAC banned the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles for reasons not unconnected with the prevailing cases of drug abuse in the country, especially by some young Nigerians.

Leading the debate on the motion, Agbbodike noted that Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empowers the National Assembly to make laws for the order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof.

He also noted that Sections 88(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empower the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly including National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control

He said, “NAFDAC had announced its decision to stop the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles in January 2024 when the Director General of the Agency informed the public that the agency will ensure that the validity of renewal of already registered products will not exceed January 2024.

“The decision to ban the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles runs counter to the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and runs against the Economic Recovery Plan of the current administration.”

He argued that the House is worried that given the numerous economic challenges confronting poor Nigerians, “The ban on the production of the said beverages will work more havoc and cause job losses for over 50 per cent of the workers in Nigeria.”

He continued, “The need to encourage the sustainability of Small and Medium Enterprises which are the greatest employer of labour in Nigeria, employing over 84 per cent of the workforce in Nigeria, NAFDAC’s policy to place a ban on the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles will be counterproductive.

“The decision to place a ban on the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles will encourage unscrupulous elements to go about the production of such drinks and products without recourse to NAFDAC.

He further explained that the ban on the registration of beverages in small sachets and bottles will worsen the poverty situation in the country.

The motion was subsequently referred to the Committee on NAFDAC for further legislative input.

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