The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has read the riot act to the clearing agents and importers operating at the nation’s ports, saying the era of fraudulent activities has come to an end with a view to safeguarding the health of the Nigerian populace and the economy.
Its Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the warning in Abuja at a virtual sensitization workshop organized by the Agency for stakeholders in the Export and Import Trade activities at the nation’s ports which included the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mine, and Agriculture NACCIMA, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria MAN, Nigeria Customs Service, Standard Organisation of Nigeria SON and Multinationals amongst others.
Prof Adeyeye however, reiterated that NAFDAC would not tolerate any unprofessional act from any of its stakeholders be it importers or clearing agents. She added that the disturbing development where agents and possibly with the connivance of importers engage in the falsification of NAFDAC documents will not be tolerated nor treated with kid gloves any longer.
In a statement by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola yesterday, Prof. Adeyeye was quoted as saying, “We shall take all legal means as an agency set up by the Law of Nigeria to prosecute any erring stakeholder’’.
She urged importers to always ensure that they make it their responsibility to initiate clearance of their goods. The NAFDAC boss advised importers to desist from entrusting the entire process of clearance of their consignments to the agents.
She stressed that whenever the agents run into trouble with the regulatory authorities, they would always want to cut corners, leaving the importer in the lurch at the end of a botched transaction as a result of failure to meet the requirements of the Agency.
As the Agency trying to enforce compliance among our clients, Prof. Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC has deployed various improvements in its processes that will ensure auto verification of documents presented to the Agency during clearing, place in the hand of stakeholders the ability to verify the true status of clearance of regulated products and ensure that we reward clients with a low-risk profile.
The NAFDAC DG, however, advised all importers and clearing agents to ensure that they complete every clearing transaction with NAFDAC up to the point of generation of NAFDAC electronic Release Notices.
She reiterated her commitment to the modernization of NAFDAC’s processes and institutionalization of international best practices in the way activities are conducted in the Agency.
“I wish to appeal that you comply with the fast-changing updates currently ongoing in NAFDAC. These include the current issuance of electronic NAFDAC Invoices, NAFDAC Receipts, First Endorsement Notices, and Release Notices.’’
“We are conscientiously working towards assisting stakeholders to achieve regulatory compliance by ensuring that these requirements are made transparent and accessible to stakeholders through the availability of Regulations, Guidelines, Tariffs, and process requirements on the NAFDAC website.
“I have also ensured that we maintain transparency and continue the implementation of the Quality Management Systems in our Ports processes. This has led to a review and update of existing Standards Operating Procedures (SOP) and implementation of strategic QMS activities for ISO 9001-2015 certification and entrenchment of WHO Global benchmarking (ISO 9004) across all the Airports, Seaports, and land borders,” she said.