Unions Say NAFDAC’S Sachet Alcoholic Ban Threatens 500,000 Jobs
Impact of NAFDAC’s Sachet Alcohol Ban on Employment: Unions Express Concern.
The recent ban on sachet alcohol by the Nigerian government has sparked concerns from key industry unions, namely the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FBTSSA) and the National Union of Food Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE). In a joint press release, they highlighted that this regulatory move puts approximately 500,000 jobs at risk.
Expressing their dismay, the unions emphasized that the ban has already led to the displacement of over 500,000 workers, exacerbating the challenges faced by the Nigerian labor market. They further criticized the policy for its potential to force the closure of businesses engaged in the production of these beverages.
Protest Against the Ban Responding vigorously to the ban, members of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DBAN) gathered at the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) headquarters in Lagos to voice their opposition. Idogen Emmanuel, Vice Chairman of the Lagos Chapter of the Trade Union Congress, led the protest, highlighting the industry’s struggles amid recent policy changes.
Emmanuel underscored the adverse impacts of the ban alongside broader economic difficulties stemming from the removal of fuel subsidies and currency fluctuations. He criticized NAFDAC’s actions as detrimental to the workforce, particularly in the current economic climate, and urged for a reconsideration of the ban.
Instead of outright closures, Emmanuel advocated for dialogue to find feasible solutions. He emphasized the industry’s commitment to raising public awareness about the age restrictions on alcohol sales and proposed collaboration with NAFDAC to address concerns effectively.
NAFDAC’s Directive and Enforcement The protest followed NAFDAC Director-General Prof Mojisola Adeyeye’s announcement detailing stringent enforcement against the import, production, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET, and small glass bottles (200ml and below). This decision, made in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and industry stakeholders, aims to restrict the availability of alcohol in easily accessible formats.
NAFDAC has already begun enforcing the ban, leading to the closure of several factories found to be in violation of the new regulations. This shift in regulatory approach signals a significant change in Nigeria’s stance on alcohol consumption, with far-reaching implications for the economy and social landscape.
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