The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has entered into a partnership airlines, importers, exporters, courier companies and allied organisation for the effective implementation of its electronic clearance system.
The Director-General, NAFDAC, Mr. Paul Orhii, said the move was to ensure that imported and exported products regulated by NAFDAC meet prescribed quality standards.
The DG, who spoke at recent workshop organised for stakeholders involved in import and export of NAFDAC-regulated products, said the meeting was meant to ensure that the agency’s clientele comply with regulatory processes.
According to Orhii, some importers and exporters of NAFDAC regulated products have chosen to push compliance to regulatory processes to the background, which he said had led to increased evasion of NAFDAC in clearing process in the nation’s ports.
The DG however said that NAFDAC had been investing heavily in infrastructure and simplifying regulatory processes through automation and user friendly processes.
This, he said, the agency was doing by automating the clearing transactions for NAFDAC regulated products and also collaborating with other government agencies to harmonise safety and risk criteria.
He urged the stakeholders to “tap into this opportunity being granted by NAFDAC so that Nigeria moves from an import driven economy to an economy that has a large export base for our locally made products.”
He said, “The implementation of electronic clearance for NAFDAC regulated products to ensure a reduction in the service time for clearing transactions with NAFDAC is just an effort amongst many others. This has also led to NAFDAC being able to electronically monitor all trade transactions that involve NAFDAC regulated products at the ports. As a result of this many importers of regulated products have being made to tidy up their documentation of products that they hitherto smuggled out of the ports. This has led to some of you being obliged to pay administrative charges for trying to evade NAFDAC clearing processes.”
He added, “I am particularly not pleased with this trend and would want to encourage you through this workshop to improve your corporate regulatory compliance and ensure that proper ethics and procedures are followed in clearance of your products at the ports especially as it concerns NAFDAC regulated items. This is one reason why we are engaging in data capture and biometrics of all NAFDAC clientele so that all corporate bodies become more responsible for any of their actions.
“We are designing and developing a reward mechanism for those corporate institutions that have a record of compliance and clearance procedures at our Nation’s ports and borders. This is to encourage them and others to improve their risk profile with NAFDAC.”