The return of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) personnel to the ports in 2018 has helped in reducing importation of fake and substandard products into Nigeria.
Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC director-general, said this during a News Agency of Nigeria forum on Wednesday in Lagos.
NAFDAC was excluded from security checks at the ports in 2011 and was reinstated on May 16, 2018.
Ms Adeyeye noted that the presence of NAFDAC officials at the ports had helped to reduce importation of fake products, identify importers and cabals behind them.
According to her, the ports are safer now compared to when NAFDAC officials were absent at the ports.
The director-general noted that NAFDAC’s presence at the ports would continue to ensure that fake drugs or substances of abuse – many times falsely shipped as building materials, electrical appliances, computer accessories – are intercepted at the point of entry.
Ms Adeyeye also mentioned that the agency would continue to work with relevant government agencies to ensure that foods, drugs, chemicals and other NAFDAC regulated products that pose danger to the population are controlled at the point of entry.
She disclosed that the agency would upscale its laboratories with functional equipment to enable it to test products effectively.
The laboratories investigate and pronounce on the quality, safety, efficacy and wholesomeness of regulated products, both imported and locally manufactured.
She noted that the agency had leveraged ICT to drive its operational efficiency, saying its website had been revamped to increase transparency and access to vital information.
“You cannot have an agency that’s not accountable financially, that’s not accountable in terms of what happens to a customer and you want to say that’s a strong regulatory system. Because you have already put holes there; holes of corruption, holes of lack of responsiveness to customers,” she explained. “We reduced debt from N3.2 billion to zero, have a budget system that’s directorate focused, started using standard operating procedure which is part of quality management system.”