The Trade Union Congress, (TUC) has ordered the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to lift the ban on the importation, manufacture, and sale of pocket-size sachet alcoholic beverages.

The TUC gave the order on Tuesday following the ban imposed by NAFDAC was done after the Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers, Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria, failed to uphold the five-year agreement signed in December 2018.

The product ban which took effect on February 1, 2023, was aimed at protecting children who bought the product based on their size and affordability.

In view of this development, the Secretary-General TUC, Nuhu Toro during a protest at the NAFDAC headquarters in Abuja, issued a 14-day ultimatum for the ban to be reversed.

Toro said, “I do not know what NAFDAC prefers, is it Boko haram or kidnappers working the street rather than working people that are coordinated?

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“This is a peaceful protest, but if our demands are not met, we will remobilize our affiliates and ensure that all offices of NAFDAC do not work. You cannot take food from our table and expect us to allow you to work.

”We give NAFDAC 14 working days, and if that obnoxious decision is not reversed, we will come back. This time around we will direct our state council across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to shut down all NAFDAC offices”.

The National President, of the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) Jimoh Oyibo, at the protest, alleged that NAFDAC has refused dialogue with the union over the expiration of the 5-year agreement.

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Jimoh added that goods worth N80bn have been destroyed since the regulatory agency began full implementation of the ban.

“Over 500,000 people have been rendered jobless, NAFDAC does not create jobs, yet it has taken already existing jobs in a society where Nigerians find it hard to feed following various economic reforms”.

Speaking further he urged the Director General of NAFDAC, to revisit the decision to ban production of the alcoholic beverages while demanding a dialogue with NAFDAC.

Receiving the aggrieved protesters’ demand, the Deputy Director of Human Resource NAFDAC, Adeyemi Omolehin assured that the agency will commit to revisiting the ban and proffer solutions to their demands

Omolehin said, “We have received your demands, hopefully, and very soon, we will get across to you”.

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