The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is urging distillers to stop the production of alcohol in sachets and pet bottles that are less than 200 ml.
Kazeem Adeniran, the assistant chief regulatory officer, Investigation and Enforcement Department, NAFDAC, Lagos, made the call at a two-day enforcement exercise on Monday in Ota, Ogun.
Mr Adeniran said his call was in line with the agreement reached by a tripartite committee set up in 2018.
He said that part of the agreement was that distillers, under the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), should stop the production of alcohol in sachets and pet bottles of less than 200ml with effect from January 31.
Mr Adeniran said a five-year grace was given to phase out the product.
The enforcement exercise was carried out in Ota and its environs to safeguard the lives of Nigerians.
Some companies visited for enforcement were Nigeria Distilleries Limited, International Distillers Limited, Danzchiji Global Nigeria Enterprises, and Euro Global Foods and Distilleries Limited, among others.
Mr Adeniran said the Federal Ministry of Health had set up the committee in 2018. NAFDAC and DIBAN were members, with other stakeholders, to curb alcohol abuse, especially among the youth.
The NAFDAC official said the alcohol above 200ml was approved by the committee for DIBAN members. However, he expressed regret that what the investigation and enforcement team saw differed from what was agreed upon.
He admonished them against flouting the agreement reached by the tripartite committee in 2018.
“These companies were still producing those alcohols below 200 ml at the time we carried out this enforcement exercise, which is not supposed to be. It is clearly stated after the meeting in 2018 that they should stop the production of such alcohol in sachets and pet bottles by 2024 and embark on production of alcohol above 200ml.
“Therefore, we are not expecting to see these alcohol sachets and pet bottles in any Nigerian market for consumption,” he said.
Mr Adeniran said all the products placed on hold in each company visited would be evacuated, forfeited and destroyed.
He reiterated NAFDAC’s commitment to ensuring that goods being made available to Nigerians were safe for consumption.