Presidential committee wants alcohol adverts banned to reduce consumption

Adverts of alcohol products might soon be banned from Nigerian airwaves as Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse is canvassing for its exclusion among aired contents.

The committee, which was inaugurated in 2018, submitted its report to President Buhari in October 2019. Some of the suggestions from the report were revealed by the chairman of the committee, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, in an interview with Channels TV.

Marwa said, “You really can’t say zero-alcohol because people have the rights.” While people can’t be forced to reduce their alcohol consumption, the committee is requesting for the cutting out of alcohol advert as a measure to curb exposure to contents encouraging its consumption.

He added that, “But when you consume more than is required and perhaps you are caught driving drunk, you know there is a penalty. So these penalties also have to be enforced.”

The report has, however, not been implemented, as a second committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, is expected to review it.

Marwa said he expects the implementation of the report to take effect next month. Mustapha and the second committee plan to meet later this week.

Request not surprising: The Federal Government has also been making moves to reduce alcohol consumption. One method implemented by the Nigerian government was the increased excise duties on beer and stouts which was increased to N0.30 kobo per centilitre (Cl) in 2018 and N0.35 kobo per Cl each in 2019 and 2020.

According to then Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, the essence of the increased excise duties on beer and stouts was to drive government revenue upward and combat the risks associated with alcohol and cigarette abuse, regardless of the negative impact it would have on investments.

Marwa’s suggestion will not be pleasing to investors of the alcohol market, as advertisement is one of the most effective channels Guinness, Nigerian Breweries and International Breweries use to communicate to their customers.

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