Oba Abdulkabir Adeyemi, the Olota of Ota in Ogun State, has publicly called upon the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to reconsider its recent ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages in sachet and PET bottles smaller than 200ml. The appeal was made during a gathering at his palace, where he addressed the concerns of factory workers protesting the ban this Tuesday.
The workers, representing the Distillery Unions, have been vocal about their dissent, staging protests around Ota—a hub for many of their manufacturing facilities. Their peaceful march through the town’s major roads aimed to draw attention to the ban’s repercussions, not just on their livelihoods but on the broader economy as well.
Oba Adeyemi highlighted the multifaceted benefits that the now-banned products brought to the manufacturers and the Nigerian economy at large. He argued that these beverages could serve as valuable export commodities to West African and European markets, thereby generating significant revenue and employment opportunities for the country’s youth.
“I think NAFDAC should have a rethink as these sachets and PET bottles could be exported to West African countries and European countries, which in return would earn revenue for the country,” the Oba stated. He further suggested that NAFDAC could explore alternative regulatory measures to safeguard public health without resorting to a total prohibition of these products.
The monarch’s concerns extend beyond economic implications, touching on social repercussions as well. He warned that a total ban might inadvertently contribute to a rise in crime rates within Ogun State and the nation. Oba Adeyemi has pledged to convey the community’s grievances to the government, advocating for a policy review that balances health concerns with economic and social realities.
This controversy follows NAFDAC’s enforcement action in Ota on February 2, concluding a five-year directive to cease the production of alcoholic beverages in smaller sachet and PET formats, which had been in effect until January 31.