NAFDAC Returns to Ports in Style, 7 Years After

Seven years after a federal government executive order handed by the former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to vacate all Ports entry, the Agency returns in style.

It was on October 10, 2011 during the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan that Okonjo-Iweala gave the directive to seven of its regulatory agencies including NAFDAC, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) among others to immediately leave all Ports of entry to reduce the number of bodies on inspection and collection of levies.

The directive has since pitched Pharmacists and other stakeholders against the Presidency because of their concerns and fears over influx of fake, counterfeit and unwholesome drugs, medicines and foods into the country.

The battle over reinstatement of NAFDAC at Ports has also continued over the years till the appointment of the present Director General, Professor Christianah Adeyeye who has vowed to ensure the reversal of the executive order to enable the Agency restore its glory.

Respite came last week after the National Conference on Chemical Security Training was held at the instance of the offie of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) which examined among others the current possible threats  and implications facing the nation with the non-presence of SON, NDLEA  and NAFDAC at Ports of entry into the country.

Another government order was to immediately follow requesting NAFDAC to immediately return to the Ports.

The Director General Professor  Adeyeye, in her response to the reinstatement of the Agency described the return as very welcome and a move in the right direction to restore dignity to various activities at all the Ports in the country.

She noted that the return of NAFDAC and the Ports, will restore its key responsibility of monitoring imports of sensitive chemical substances, food, drug and other regulated products before these find their ways into the country.

According to Adeyeye “NAFDAC, in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and with the active support of the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, will be returning to the Ports and borders to effectively control the importation of narcotic drugs and chemical substances identified to be grossly abused and posing public health and security threats to the nation”.

Speaking on the just concluded training held under the auspices of the ONSA with the theme “Towards a Secured Importation, Distribution, Storage and Use of Chemicals in Nigeria” Adeyeye assured that NAFDAC is ready to continue its regulatory role of monitoring imports of all substances that require expertise to monitor their industry-wide application and use.

“NAFDAC wishes to commend the Office of the NSA, the Chemical Society of Nigeria and other key stakeholders for recognising NAFDAC at the ports and as a key player in the national security architecture by this singular act of restoring the presence of NAFDAC officials at all designated Ports of entry and land borders.

“The laws that set up NAFDAC empower the Agency to statutorily operate at the ports. The clearance of regulated products outside of the current legal framework poses immediate and life threatening risks to the public as unregistered, spurious and falsified products exit the ports without recourse to the agency’s approval for such products to be in the market.”

She said the laws that set up NAFDAC empower the agency to statutorily operate at the ports. The clearance of regulated products outside of the current legal framework poses immediate and life threatening risks to the public as unregistered, spurious and falsified products exit the ports without recourse to the agency’s approval for such products to be in the market.

The laws that set up NAFDAC empower the agency to statutorily operate at the ports. The clearance of regulated products outside of the current legal framework poses immediate and life threatening risks to the public as unregistered, spurious and falsified products exit the ports without recourse to the Agency’s approval for such products to be in the market.

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