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-By Adeola Soetan

NAFDAC’s policy to ban “Pelebe” will fail. It’s like banning water or milk in sachet pack. Pelebe, ie, alchoholic drink in sachet like pure water & sachet milk is a reflection of worsening economic condition & mass impoverishment of citizens and a market response by manufacturers of Pelebe to the depreciating purchasing power of the consumers of their products

Madam NAFDAC & her team should have known this simple economic market statement before embarking on a meaningless flight of fantasy to ban Pelebe. NAFDAC’s attention should focus more on safety, mass education on pelebe’s health hazard, regulation and control of proliferation of uncountable number of manufacturers and crazy names many of these producers give their NAFDAC approved products like “Fapataya” “Ba Be Je” “4-0″ O n’be Gau” “Nawode” “Eru Jeje”. I once wrote to call out NAFDAC on why they registered alcoholic products with such rape inducing and sex provoking frightening names.

That NAFDAC is even planning to rely more on the police to effect the Pelebe ban shows the organization has not done its research on consumption pattern properly because many policemen compete favorably in pelebe consumption with motorpark workers “Up National”, political thugs, clubs & short time hotels rungirls and guys.

Some religious faithful also take cheap Pelebe as drum, song and dance enhancing alcoholic drinks unofficially during kurukere kurukere service in their prayer centres.

When Cowbell milk quickly responded to the diminishing market purchasing power of Nigerians and the company was smart enough to launch its sachet size, it almost ran “corporate” Peak milk out of market and into bankruptcy before the elite peak milk manufacturers ate the humble pie and launched its low cost sachet brand, and other “big boys” in food & drink production joined the sachet brand market race immediately

When economic speaks, NAFDAC should listen and should stop doing gragra and focus more on food safety, control and regulation not on the size of packaging. . Nothing is wrong with “Pelebe” brand of any food & drink, indeed other products including detergent in as much as the products are safe for consumption. Let the poor enjoy their Pelebe while the rich enjoy their expensive hot drinks in big bottles. It’s a matter of size and packaging.

Throughout my secondary and university years, I took peak milk, carnation and condensed milk in tins but now, like millions of Nigerians, I take peak milk, nescafe & sugar in pelebe sachet size. Even 5-star hotels now serve beverages & soaps in sachet (pelebe) sizes. No be so?

Adeola Soetan

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