Says NAFDAC set to blacklist countries sending substandard products to Nigeria
Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, has stated that the federal government’s policy which prevents officials of the agency from staying at the ports must be changed, saying it is counterproductive.
Prof. Adeyeye who decried the restriction, described it as a huge limitation to NAFDAC’s operations, as it is impossible for the agency to control drugs distribution from its offices.
While calling for the intervention of all stakeholders as well as that of the legislative and judicial arms of the government to resolve the issue, she noted that the rising epidemic of drug abuse and misuse in the country, especially among the youth, can be attributed to this gap.
The NAFDAC boss made the submission at a recent Breakfast Meeting organised by the American Business Council, at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Adeyeye also sent a warning signal to dealers of substandard drugs in the country, declaring that it would no longer be business as usual for all foreign countries, whose inferior and adulterated drugs and foods had hitherto flooded the Nigerian market, adding that the agency would soon start prosecuting the perpetrating companies.
Her words: “We are going to blacklist many countries; for instance, the Asian countries, which are in the habit of sending substandard products to Nigeria, because the country has been inundated with narcotic products. In fact, we will possibly prosecute any foreign company found guilty of the act henceforth”.
The NAFDAC DG, who briefed the audience on the new development in the agency in the area of ICT, disclosed that the agency was setting up electronic platforms for all transactions, ranging from e-registration, e-clearance and e-permit, in such a way that companies can relate with the agency without the delay of face-to-face communication, which will make NAFDAC’s work easier and faster.
Adeyeye also spoke on advert registration and vetting, with emphasis on improved procedures.
According to her: “The process is being streamlined for now, and paper submission is drastically reduced, as we are encouraging companies to do e-registration, as well as submit advert materials on CD-ROM.
“All adverts shall conform to the principles of fair competition and should be in the interest of all consumers and wider Nigerian society. Only NAFDAC registered products should be advertised, while advert vetting is done through the registration and regulatory affairs. While all approved adverts are valid for one year, there is option to increase validity.”
She further assured stakeholders and investors to expect holistic transformations in the operations of NAFDAC during her tenure, stating that there would be strict adherence to deadlines.
In her presentation at the meeting, Mrs Margaret Olele, CEO/executive secretary, American Business Council, explained the roles of the council and why it was hosting the new DG of NAFDAC.
In her words: “The American Business Council is the voice of American investments in Nigeria and the Nigerian Affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce. Working with the US Mission and other partners, we drive trade and investment opportunities between Nigeria and United States of America in the interest of its member companies and both countries. Our overarching goal is to support sustainable socio-economic reform initiatives in Nigeria through public policy advocacy, promotion and implementation.
In line with the federal government’s objective on improving the ease of doing business in the country, it is imperative for stakeholders and the media to share their perspectives with the DG of NAFDAC, in order to have an organised and healthy society”.