Niger State Government issues blanket ban of sale and consumption of alcohol

The Niger State government has withdrawn licenses issued to liquor dealers in the state because of what it describes as the refusal of liquor dealers to follow guidelines set by the government for the sale of liquor.

The Niger State Liquor Licensing Board, the body that regulates sale and consumption of alcohol announced the outright ban in a statement signed by its chairman, Malam Muhammad Shafii.

Shafii said liquor vendors caught contravening the order would be arrested and prosecuted.

Niger State, located in the Northwest of Nigeria introduced Sharia legal system in the year 2000 under which sale and consumption of alcohol and related beverages was restricted to areas of major towns and cities in the state, and must be eight kilometers from the town.

But on Monday, the State Government made a U-turn and placed a blanket ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in any part of the state.

The statement asked law enforcement agents to implement the directive by arresting and prosecuting offenders.

To express the government’s disapproval, two major liquor dealers were arrested over the weekend and would be charged to court soon.

Also operatives of the board recently seized and destroyed assorted alcohol beverages worth N28 million in Minna between January and June this year alone.

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