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Sachet Alcohol Ban: Manufacturers Foresee 5.5m Job Loss

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The Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) has said investments worth over N1.2trillion will be lost while 5.5 million direct and indirect workers would be out of jobs if the Federal Government insists on the recent ban implemented against the production and sale of sachet and PET bottle alcohol in the country.
DIBAN, a sub-sector under the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), stated in an open letter addressed to President Bola Tinubu.
In the letter, dated February 18, 2024, DIBAN noted that on January 31, 2024, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) placed an outright ban on the production and sale of alcoholic beverages in sachets and PET bottles.
The reasons given by the regulator were that the packaging of alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles was responsible for the increase in alcoholic use among underage and that the packaging of alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles increases the use of hard drugs.
In its pushback, DIBAN argued that NAFDAC had no legal or moral justification for placing an outright ban on the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles.
It said the alcoholic beverages were not produced or manufactured with hard drugs contrary to the assertion of NAFDAC.
The distillers also noted that there were no reports from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to support the position of NAFDAC that the alcoholic beverages in sachets or pet bottles contain any hard drugs.
DIBAN said it had a conglomerate membership of over 24 corporate organisations mostly indigenous companies with few multinationals and are into production and manufacturing of wines and spirits with over 70 per cent local inputs.
The letter reads in part, “DIBAN’S investment is worth over N500billion. Indirect investments of other companies having one business or the other to do with DIBAN is also worth over N800billion.
“DIBAN’s contribution to the economy of Nigeria is worth over N1.2trillion. There are over 500,000 employees in the direct employment of DIBAN. DIBAN also provides indirect employment or work for over five million people”.
According to DIBAN, when NAFDAC first hinted at the ban, the association had spent over N1bn to support various media, advocacy and campaigns in various media outfits both print and electronics to ensure consumption of alcoholic beverages among our youth is not allowed no matter how little.
It further argued that bigger sizes encourage the consumption of bigger portions, while small sizes encourage portion control because it is logical that if you buy small, you consume small but if you buy big you consume big.
“If NAFDAC takes away small sizes, the Agency is simply encouraging excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages”, it said.
Suggesting the way forward, DIBAN urged the President to issue a directive to NAFDAC or an Executive Order immediately lifting the ban by NAFDAC on the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles.
It also called for the establishment of licensed liquor stores/outlets by Local Government Areas across Nigeria.

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Firm Launches New Radio Campaign For Product

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An oil and gas firm, 11 Plc, has launched a new jingle for its mobil super lubricants.
The firm in a statement recently indicated that it is the sole distributor of Mobil fuel and lubricant brands in Nigeria, noting that the radio campaign was aimed at making the brand Nigerian customers’ choice.
“The campaign, which hit the airwaves three weeks ago, was launched to create fresh awareness for all category users of the premium lubricants during the Easter and Ramadan period and beyond”, the statement said.
According to the firm, Mobil Superbrand is a global family of premium passenger vehicle engine oils that provides different levels of protection to match whatever conditions users of the products may encounter.
The company said its vision was to be the number one business group in Nigeria in terms of sustained service, quality and reliability and the first brand of preference by the consumers whilst conducting operations with high safety standards and environmental compliance.
It added that it aimed to provide the best in class products, services and solutions to customers with a focus on safety and environmental standards.

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Arik Air Explains Flight Cancellation In PH Airport

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Arik Airline has clarified that the incident that resulted in passengers getting stranded at Port Harcourt Airport last Tuesday was due to adverse weather conditions.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Public Relations Manager of the airline, Adebanji Ola.
Some passengers of the Arik Air had expressed frustration over being left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport after their flight to Lagos was abruptly cancelled.
The affected passengers, scheduled for the flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos State, got upset by the development, and took to social media platforms to express their grievances.
Nevertheless, the airline had in the statement, reiterated its commitment to safety, highlighting its strict policy to avoid flying in inclement weather conditions, which they said had necessitated the cancellation of the affected flight.
It extended its apologies to customers whose travel plans were disrupted by the unforeseen circumstances, reaffirming its dedication to prioritising passenger welfare.
“We are aware of a recent story circulated in social media alleging that passengers were left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport under our care. It is imperative that we provide clarity on this matter to rectify any misconceptions.
“In the evening of Tuesday, April 2, 2024, our flight W3 744 Lagos-Port Harcourt was compelled to make an air return due to adverse weather conditions, specifically heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in Port Harcourt.
“Consequently, both the Lagos-Port Harcourt (W3 744) and Port Harcourt-Lagos (W3 745) flights had to be cancelled.
“It is crucial to note that by the time of the cancellation, our banking facilities at the airport had ceased operations, rendering funds unfeasible at that moment.
“However, the passengers were promptly briefed on the situation and advised to return the following day for re-protection on available flights”, it stated.
The statement added that on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, all the affected passengers from both Lagos and Port Harcourt were successfully accommodated on available morning and evening flights.

Corlins Walter

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Settlement On Course For Redundancy Benefits – Aero Airline 

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The Aero Contractors Airline has affirmed  its commitment to clear the remaining five per cent of redundancy benefits owed its workers.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Captain Ado Sanusi, in a press release said the firm was intensifying efforts to address outstanding financial commitments.
He faulted the move by workers union, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), to issue a press statement, despite ongoing efforts to resolve the issue amicably.
“This should not be an opportunity for disharmony, dialogue is a process. There was a letter written, there was a process agreed upon, and all of a sudden they went to the press. We are ready to resolve the issue”, the CEO stated.
NAAPE had recently issued a letter threatening to go on a protest over non-payment of outstanding redundancy benefits to its members.
The group accused the management of Aero Contractors of depriving the affected former workers access to their entitled benefits.
The protest letter, addressed to the management of the airline, read in part: “Consequent upon the avalanche of complaints received from our members who have been deprived of their fundamental entitlements and denied the rightful collection of their redundancy benefits in the last seven years and given the anguish and mental agonies suffered by them, We are compelled, as responsible representatives of these eminent men/women, including the dead, to protest through this letter and express our bitterness over management’s seeming lackadaisical attitude, insincerity and insensitivity to the continued wellbeing of these great Nigerians”.
The Aero CEO, however, clarified that in the last seven years, the company has paid approximately 95 per cent of the redundancy benefits.
“We should be given credit because this management initiated the process of paying off redundancy. We want our prospective investors to understand that we are a very responsible company, and we take our obligations seriously, not only for staff but also in other areas.
“We update them on a day-to-day basis to ensure business continuity. It is a very tough environment in which we are operating”, he said.
Sanusi stressed the importance of maintaining transparency and communication with stakeholders throughout the process.
He said despite challenges posed by fluctuating exchange rates and fuel costs, Aero Contractors remained steadfast in its efforts to uphold its obligations and ensure business continuity.

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