The Nigerian government has declared that it will confiscate and destroy locally-produced gin, Ogogoro and other illegally brewed alcoholic beverages following the death of more than 50 people in the last three months.

According to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) director-general Paul Orhii, investigations by the agency had revealed that the deaths in Ondo and Rivers states were linked to the methanol contamination in the local gin.

News Agency of Nigeria quoted Orhii as saying: "As part of measures adopted to arrest the ugly situation, NAFDAC will confiscate all illegally brewed beverages while Nigerians should assist government by reporting the sale or distribution of such drinks.

"We are also warning members of the public to avoid the consumption of all kinds of locally produced spirits, unregistered bitters and related drinks for now."

Orhii also urged people to report to relevant authorities in case if the banned products were being sold or distributed.

Denying any possibility of deliberate contamination of the spirits, Orhii said that over-fermentation or over-concentration of the drink by their producers could lead to methanol toxicity.

Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) coordinator Abdulsalam Nasidi also asked Nigerians to avoid consumption of the local gin as there was a possibility of the situation spreading to other states.

Methanol poisoning can be identified by symptoms including vomiting, abdominal pain, blurred vision, headache, dizziness and the loss of consciousness.