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Labour Unions Protest Against Ban On Sachet Alcoholic Drinks, Allege Threat To Local Industries

In a united stance, the Trade Union Congress  and the Nigeria Labour Congress have strongly opposed the recent ban on sachet alcoholic drinks, branding it as  an anti-people policy designed to undermine local manufacturing companies.

The labour unions argued that this policy exacerbates the existing economic challenges faced by Nigerians. 

The ban, enforced by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), encompasses the production, distribution, and sales of alcoholic beverages in sachets, PET, and glass bottles of 200ml and below.

Distillers and labour unions across the nation have voiced their discontent through repeated protests following the shutdown of non-compliant production facilities.

 Leading a recent protest in Abeokuta, TUC Chairman Akeem Lasisi and NLC Chairman Hammed Ademola Benco called for the suspension of NAFDAC’s Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, accusing her of collaborating with multinational companies to jeopardize local alcohol production businesses.

During the protest at the Ogun State House of Assembly, union members, including the Food Beverages and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) and the National Union of Food Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBE), wielded placards with inscriptions such as “Sachet alcohol is not Nigeria’s problem” and “NAFDAC don’t take away our work.”

Addressing the Assembly Speaker Hon. Oludaisi Elemide, Lasisi  lamented that the ban could result in the loss of over 500,000 jobs and an investment of over N800 billion in the industry.

“We believe this policy is anti-people. Drinking alcohol is a choice, and a significant portion of sales in this industry comes from sachet alcohol. 

This ban will seriously impact Nigerians, especially workers,” stated Lasisi.

The NLC chairman urged State Houses of Assembly to intervene and urged NAFDAC to reconsider the ban to protect the manufacturing sector. In response, the Speaker promised to engage with the Federal government to reconsider the ban.

Following the Assembly protest, the demonstrators proceeded to the palace of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, where representatives of the labor unions engaged in closed-door discussions with the monarch.

 

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