The Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association and National Union of Food Beverages and Tobacco Employee, have disclosed that over 500,000 workers will lose their jobs as a result of the ban on sale and consumption of alcohol in sachets and polyethylene terephthalate bottles.
The associations made this disclosure on Tuesday during a protest at the Lagos office of the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control.
The protesters who called on the Federal Government to save the jobs of 500, 000 Nigerians, identified various economic disadvantages of the proposed ban and urged the government to reconsider the stand.
They explained that this singular action could send over 500,000 breadwinners out of jobs and increase the rate of unemployment.
The associations lamented that this new policy will further pile more problems on the Nigerian economy as it may eventually lead to closed down of the industries producing these products.
Vice Chairman, NUFBTE, Lagos Council, Emmanuel Idogiene, who spoke during the protest said, “Most of our jobs are at stake. Many companies will fold up, especially those local industries that serve as raw materials to the producers.”
The union asserted that their employers have been law abiding and socially responsible citizens by paying their taxes which runs to several billions of naira thus contributing to economic growth.
They added that advocacy initiatives have been embarked upon to advise the public of the dangers of over consumption and underaged drinking, imploring NAFDAC and the FG to lift the outright ban on these products while the Agency implements regulation of the products as well as public sensitization instead of throwing the baby with the bath.
“With this ban, counterfeiters and moonshiners will have a field day which will give rise to various health problems” they stated.