Ban on Sachets Drinks and PET Bottles would destroy the economy-MAN

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    The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, stated that the proposed policy of banning sachet Drinks and PET bottles would amount to a deliberate destruction of the business of local and indigenous investors who through thick and thin have kept faith with the Nigerian Economy has stated that it has become a challenge to curb the menace of underage drinking in Nigeria.

    The Association made this known through its Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir while reacting to the proposed ban of drinks in Sachets Drinks and PET Bottles by 2024.

    “Implementing strategies to eliminate underage drinking in the Country is the apparent preoccupation of NAFDAC to ban the production of drinks in sachets and PET bottles by 2024. This is at variance with the right of private entrepreneurs to invest and engage in legitimate business. Besides, the proposed policy would amount to a deliberate destruction of the business of local and indigenous investors who through thick and thin have kept faith with the Nigerian Economy”, he said.

    “They have continued to invest and reinvest at enormous cost in the Economy and in the Nigerian people who are the bulk of its nearly Five Hundred thousand people workforce. This is in spite of the daunting challenges that businesses have faced in the difficult times, which if we must emphasize, has led to several companies closing down and foreign investors leaving the Country”, he added.

    “We are convinced that this present administration‘s Renewed Hope Agenda will not be best served with this ban. If the administration is committed to encouraging and strengthening local investors, then this ban should give way to access control. At the least, one would expect that NAFDAC should allow due process of full legislative hearings by the appropriate House Committee to take place, so that relevant stakeholders can engage and the public will know the factual, expert and well-informed opinions. Also, the Ministerial Technical Committee should be allowed to complete its work. It is important to know that the industries have invested hundreds of billions of naira not only in the business, but overtime in packaging and distribution”, noted the DG.

    Most of the huge investments according to him are backed by enormous indebtedness to both foreign and local financial institutions It should also be borne in mind that prior to the investment made by the companies, in the packaging, distribution, logistics and advertisement of their products, the necessary approval were obtained thus prompting them to make said investments. This is what the ban is going to wreck for no justifiable reason.

    “It must be explicitly stated: Moderation and responsible drinking promote good health. SMALL is good, if you buy small you will consume small. If you buy big you will consume big, this is not HEALTHY. Bigger sizes encourage consumption of bigger portions, while small sizes encourage portion control. If you take away small sizes, you are encouraging excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. To go ahead with the policy based on perceived danger, without empirical information and not minding the consequences is unfair to the industry operators, the thousands of workers that will lose their jobs and inimical to Nigerian economy”, argued the association.

    The Association therefore tasked government on intensifying its activities and support in the form of access control and tighter regulations, but definitely not ban, which will be counterproductive.

    It stated that the ban be reversed immediately and replaced with regulations and access control such as: a) Establishment of licensed liquor stores/outlets by LGAs across the country; b) Suspected underage persons (under 18) should be required to show I.D to purchase alcoholic beverages as practiced in some other climes; c) Tighten enforcement by law enforcement agencies . d) Increased monitoring and compliance checks by NAFDAC, FCCPC and others to ensure strict product quality in terms of content and safety.

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