The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has sealed two factories for producing 100-millilitre plastic alcoholic beverages in Enugu State.
The raid was carried out at Nsukka, where four factories were raided while the same exercise was carried out in three factories in Enugu.
Speaking on the development, the leader of the NAFDAC enforcement team, Mr Wafar Elam, decried the negative effects of irresponsible alcoholic beverage consumption on the health, safety, and security of the public.
Elam, who is from the Investigative and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC, said that relative ease and affordability of small alcoholic beverages and their pocket-size nature had made some school children take the beverages at will.
He said uncontrolled access and availability of high concentrated alcohol in sachets and small volumes or glass bottles had been identified as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with their negative impacts on society.
He said the consumption of alcoholic beverages could lead to renal failure and other sorts of cancer as well as respiratory infections.
In his words, “We are here to take action and enforce the ban on the production of alcoholic drinks in sachets, small volumes of plastic and glass bottles below 200 millilitres.
“During the raid, it was discovered that some factories had finished products, while others still have packaging materials in their possession.”
Elam said that the raid followed the expiration of the deadline earlier given by NAFDAC for the ban on the production of alcoholic drinks in sachets, small volume glasses, and bottles across the country.
According to him, “The body had in 2018 directed the stoppage of production or sale of all alcoholic drinks in sachets, small volume glasses and bottles by the end of December 2023.
“This followed the recommendation of a committee comprising the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and Industry in December 2018.
“The committee premised their arguments on the fact that the rate at which the underage population has access to alcohol was quite alarming because the manufacturers of the products make it accessible and affordable to everyone.
“It argued that due to its availability in sachets, many people are exposed to drinking too much alcoholic beverage at an early stage in life. As a result, underage drinking has become a major public health problem in the country.”