The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, has said that the ministry is working on a national policy on beer production.

The minister was represented by the Deputy Director of the Agro-Allied Division of the Industrial Development Department of the Ministry, Mrs Olumuyiwa Ajayi-Ade, during the launch of the SMASHED project in Abuja by the Beer Sectoral Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

“My ministry is in the process of developing a national policy for the sector because of the contribution of the industry to the nation’s GDP, job creation, wealth generation along its value chain. We are, therefore, inviting inputs from all relevant stakeholders in order to have a holistic policy for the sector,” the minister said, calling for contribution from key stakeholders.

Recall in March this year that the beer sector contributed $2.2bn to the Nigerian economy in 2019, according to the Worldwide Brewing Alliance’s new report on the global economic impact of the sector.

The report also stated that the global beer sector sustained over 309,000 jobs in Nigeria in 2019, which was equivalent to 0.4 per cent of national employment, or 81 per cent of employment in Aba.

It was also stated that the global beer sector supported $526m in tax revenues in Nigeria in 2019, which was 1.7 per cent of government revenue.

The BSG launched the SMASHED project to discourage underage consumption of alcohol and reduce the incidence of alcohol-related harm among teenagers.

Also speaking at the launch was the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who said that underage consumption of alcohol is a major issue that demands interventions through moral education.

The minister who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Andrew Apeh, stressed the need to inculcate the right values and principles in children.

He added that the government and the private sector have a shared social obligation to make a positive impact on society, commending the BSG for taking a firm stance against the consumption of alcohol among people below the age of 18.

Earlier, the Chairman of BSG and the CEO of Guinness Nigeria Plc., Baker Magunda, noted that the project is intended to empower young people to make the right choices.

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