By Oluwakemi Oladipo
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it will improve consultations, robust interaction and dialogue with all stakeholders to act as a guide and partner.
Its Director-General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, made the assertion at a stakeholders’ meeting tagged: “A Date with the Director-General, NAFDAC’’ on Thursday in Lagos.
Adeyeye said that such meeting would help to increase collaboration with various stakeholders to ensure that the regulator, the regulated and other stakeholders were in line with NAFDAC.
“The overall aim of this collaboration is for the agency to act as a guide and partner rather than policy they regulated.
“A Date with the DG’ is expected to provide a platform for discourse and exchange of information, which relates to our expectations from the regulated sector and get feedback.
“We are committed to regulatory reform and to strengthening our regulatory framework to enhance our efficiency and improve on service delivery.
“To increase efficiency, we have embraced fully the deployment and use of information technology in our operations.
“Our website has been revamped to increase transparency and we will continue to strive to build a more robust information technology platform.
“We have enhanced our communication mode with the use of emails with all staff activating their official NAFDAC emails to ease communication with our stakeholders as well as fostering internal communication,” Adeyeye said.
She said that NAFDAC was currently re-equipping its laboratories and would be upgraded to ensure we maintain and expand accreditations, which we have attained.
“In order to ensure effective discharge of our regulatory functions, the agency has developed regulations and guidelines to aid compliance with regulatory provisions.
“We have recently revised 25 existing regulations and harmonised 65 guidelines. These have been posted and are available on our website.
“We have adopted a risk-based approach in the inspection of foreign facilities, which is aimed at making inspections, more efficient and targeted at high-risk products and manufacturers.
“It is critical that we remain in sync with the global landscape and proactive as well as reactive as the case may be.
“This has been evidenced by the series of alerts issued by the agency in the face of threat as well as the recall of some products in the interest of public health.
“The agency has remained undaunted in its efforts to reduce the incidence of substandard and falsified products, as well as the smuggling and abuse of various products,” she said.
According to Adeyeye, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on May 18, 2017 signed the Executive Order 001 on promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment.
“We have continued to work with the presidential enabling business environment council to deliver on this and improve service delivery to customers in a more transparent and efficient manner.
“With this in mind, we worked to clear a backlog of 6,000 applications for registration nationwide.,” the director-general said.
Adeyeye appealed to the industry to support NAFDAC by adhering to the agency’s laws and regulations.
She said: “They are also encouraged to ensure their operations and activities are in line with NAFDAC’s extant laws and regulations.
“Companies should ensure that they maintain a robust system, which allows for effective monitoring and control of their products that are already in trade.
“This is necessary for effective intervention in the event of unexpected product defects, which may necessitate immediate product recall.
“The agency has noticed with grave concern the trend of ripening of fruits with calcium carbide. This practice should be discouraged, as this is injurious to health.
“Also, inappropriate use of agrochemicals for preservation and storage of raw food items should be stopped.”
Adeyeye said that these practices constitute great danger to health and become toxic residues with deleterious long-term health effects.
“The agency is in the process of publishing a compendium of registered NAFDAC regulated products which has also been hosted on our website.
“The compendium is a veritable source of information and reference material for all stakeholders and consumers of NAFDAC regulated products,” she said. ( NAN)