By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised the public to exercise caution in the consumption of alcoholic beverages that could have deteriorating effects on their health.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of the agency, who gave the advice in a statement on Friday, further urged the public to avoid unregistered alcoholic products.
Adeyeye described alcohol as a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties, uncontrolled access and availability of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small volume Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) or glass bottles.
She said that alcohol in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles, had been put forward as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with its negative impact on the society.
‘NAFDAC wishes to bring to the attention of the general public, concerns relating to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small volume glass and Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles.’
‘These concerns relate to negative effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption on public health and on the safety and security of the public.’
‘The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that alcohol consumption contributes to three million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people.’
‘The Federal Ministry of Health is concerned about the high incidence of substance and alcohol abuse in the country, and NAFDAC, being the competent authority, is increasing efforts to stem this,’ Adeyeye said.
The NAFDAC director-general said the agency had continued to exercise its regulatory responsibilities by ensuring that all alcoholic beverages and other regulated products approved by the agency meet the set standards of quality, safety and wholesomeness.
She said that the agency in 2019, engaged and sensitise major stakeholders at the highest level and several interventions jointly agreed upon were being undertaken.
‘It was agreed that no new products in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles above 30 per cent ABV will be registered by NAFDAC.’
‘Furthermore, to reduce availability and curb abuse, effective Jan. 31, 2020, producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume PET and glass bottles are to reduce production by 50 per cent of capacity.’
‘The overall goal is a complete phase out of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small PET and glass bottles in line with the agreed roadmap,’ she said.
The director-general said that the agency was in the process of monitoring and enforcing all agreements jointly reached among the Federal Ministry of Health-NAFDAC, alcohol producers and other stakeholders.
According to her, NAFDAC is committed to preventing easy access to alcohol by young people and other vulnerable and high-risk groups.