….calls for review of the ban
The mouthpiece of Organised Private Sector (OPS) Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has raised alarm over pending job loss based on the ban of sachet and pet bottled alcoholic drinks.
Describing the act as economic sabotage, the umbrella body for Employers in Nigeria, expressed its fear over millions of direct and indirect jobs that would be lost if the ban is allowed to sail take place.
The Association, in its reaction equating the ban as economic sabotage added that it is an attempt to further drag businesses in the sector into economic abyss.
Speaking in Lagos, the Director General of the Association, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde noted that “the recent ban on the production and sale of these products is not only ill-advised, but also ill-timed in view of the current economic situation, the current rate of unemployment, the inability of the Customs officials to effectively police the borders and the likely loss of investment by these organizations.
According to Oyerinde “At a time when all economic fundamentals are against organized business with consequential effects on job creation and enterprise sustainability, the ban by NAFDAC will further drag businesses into the precipice and escalate the current rate of unemployment in the country.”
Wondering how NAFDAC can effectively curb circulation of such drinks in view of near-zero borderlines, the NECA DG stated that without proper monitoring of the country’s porous borders, banning the products in Nigeria will not guarantee non-availability of those products in Nigerian markets.
“In a country where there are many unguarded entry points, this will also promote smuggling as unscrupulous elements will leverage on this ban to flood the market with dangerous adulterated products”.
While reiterating the Association’s opposition to the ill-advised NAFDAC action, the NECA boss stressed that Beverage and Alcoholic industry are major provider of employment and a significant contributor to Government tax revenue.
“Therefore, while it is important to control the abuse of alcoholic drinks in the country, it is of greater importance to ensure business sustainability, employment creation and poverty reduction among households. The consequential loss of jobs and investment will further escalate the already bad insecurity situation in the country. He therefore, called for a review of the ban, while intensifying the campaign against the drinking of alcohol by underage children and commercial drivers in all front.
He opined that the sachet economy came into being for the purpose of affordability for everyone based on the prevailing economic conditions, adding that manufacturers embarked commodities such as detergents, cocoa beverages, powdered milk, sachet drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) etc to the level where they will be affordable everyone.
“Sachet economy came to be as a result of the declining purchasing power of the citizen in meeting basic needs. Therefore, alcoholic beverages in sachets, pet and glass bottles of 200ml are not targeted at underage children and commercial bus drivers, but a product of failing purchasing power of Nigerians.”
Oyerinde, therefore calling on NAFDAC to reverse the ban also advocated for further dialogue with relevant Associations, particularly the Distillers Association, the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) among others in order to avoid the negative economic and social consequences of the ill-advised and ill-timed ban.
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