The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has sounded the alarm over the significant investments jeopardized by the recent ban on the production and sale of alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles less than 200ml. In a press conference held in Lagos, MAN revealed that this ban puts at risk investments exceeding N800 billion made by 25 companies. These investments not only represent a substantial financial commitment but also sustain over 5.5 million direct and indirect jobs.
The ban, announced by the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on February 5, 2024, has stirred concerns among industry stakeholders. Executive Secretary of the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), Mr. John Ichue, highlighted the adverse impact on the affected companies, many of which rely on borrowed capital to finance their operations. Additionally, these companies possess stocks that could last for more than two years, exacerbating the economic fallout of the ban.
MAN’s Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, emphasized the immense contributions of these companies to the Nigerian economy, emphasizing their adherence to regulatory approvals before making substantial investments. He decried the ban as unjustifiable and warned of its severe repercussions on local and indigenous investors. With over 500,000 direct employees and a multitude of workers along the value chain, the ban threatens the livelihoods of millions.
Furthermore, Ajayi-Kadir cautioned against the unintended consequences of the ban, arguing that smaller packaging encourages moderation and responsible consumption. Removing smaller sizes, he argued, could inadvertently promote excessive drinking habits, contrary to public health objectives. MAN urged policymakers to reconsider the ban, highlighting the lack of empirical evidence supporting its necessity and its detrimental effects on both industry stakeholders and the broader Nigerian economy.