The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has engaged in a heated dispute with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over the ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks packaged in sachets.
NAFDAC’s decision to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages in sachets and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles has sparked intense backlash from manufacturers and industry stakeholders.
MAN, represented by its Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, vehemently opposed NAFDAC’s rationale behind the ban.
Ajayi-Kadir emphasized that NAFDAC’s claims regarding the link between sachet packaging and underage alcohol consumption lacked substantial evidence.
MAN contended that the ban reflects broader systemic issues rather than addressing the root cause of irresponsible alcohol use.
The ban, announced by NAFDAC on February 5, 2024, purportedly aims to curb the rising trend of alcohol consumption among minors.
However, MAN pointed out that NAFDAC failed to conduct a scientific study to validate its claims before implementing the ban.
Moreover, MAN highlighted concerns about the potential consequences of the ban, including the proliferation of counterfeit products and its adverse impact on the local economy.
In response to NAFDAC’s directive, labour and trade unions, including the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, staged protests at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The unions expressed solidarity with the manufacturers and urged NAFDAC to reconsider its decision, emphasizing the significant investments made by companies in the industry.
The clash between manufacturers and NAFDAC underscores the complexity of regulatory decisions impacting the alcoholic beverage industry in Nigeria.
As tensions escalate, stakeholders await further developments and potential resolutions to address the contentious ban.
IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected
The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.
Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.
IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.
Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.
Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.
The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.
While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.
Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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