How Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo saved Sachet Alcoholic Beverages

How Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo saved Sachet Alcoholic Beverages

The House of Representatives and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have resolved to lift the ban on the sale and consumption of sachet alcoholic beverages in Nigeria. According to Philip Agbese, deputy spokesman for the House, the ban will end once the economy recovers from its current strain.

 

NAFDAC had banned the production of beverages in small sachets and bottles due to concerns about drug abuse, particularly among young Nigerians. On February 7, 2024, the House of Representatives mandated its Committee on NAFDAC to investigate the circumstances surrounding the ban. This followed a motion moved by Hon. Paschal Agbodike and Hon. Philip Agbese during a plenary session.

 

Despite the House’s resolution, NAFDAC failed to comply until Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo, deputy chairman of the House Committee on NAFDAC, intervened on May 23, 2024. At a press conference in Abuja, Okonkwo urged NAFDAC’s director-general, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, to lift the ban on sachet alcoholic beverages and pet bottles, citing the economic implications. He noted that the ban would lead to 500,000 job losses and ruin N800 billion investments.

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Following engagement with stakeholders, including NAFDAC and the organized private sector, the ban was lifted yesterday.

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