In a bid to safeguard Nigerian youth from the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has implemented a ban on the production and sale of alcohol in small sachets and PET bottles containing less than 200ml. Contrary to some misconceptions, NAFDAC clarified that it did not ban alcohol production in larger bottles but targeted specifically the packaging that could be easily concealed by children.
The decision came after consultations and agreements between NAFDAC, the Ministry of Health (MOH), and industry stakeholders, including the Association of Food, Beverage & Tobacco Employers (AFBTE) and the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN). These agreements were forged in December 2018, with a commitment to phase out the production of alcohol in sachets and small PET bottles by January 31, 2024. The signed agreement document is available for reference, emphasizing a five-year phase-out notice deemed sufficient for implementation.
This move aligns with Nigeria’s commitment as one of the 193 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. In 2010, at the Sixty-third session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, a global strategy was adopted, marked by the resolution WHA63.13. Nigeria, along with other nations, pledged to protect its youth by implementing measures to make alcohol less easily accessible and reachable.
The alcoholic content in sachets or PET bottles under 200ml is notably high, averaging 30%, far exceeding the alcohol content in standard beer, which typically ranges from 4% to 8%. By eliminating these small and easily concealable packaging options, NAFDAC aims to curtail underage drinking and reduce the prevalence of alcohol-related harm among Nigerian youth.