* Tells manufacturers; “Start with us from the scratch”
By Codratus Godson
Middlemen and fake consultants may have wreaked havoc on regulation of food and drugs made in Nigeria, according to outcry by the National Agency for Foods & Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Port Harcourt, headquarters of the South-South region.
The agency has thus admonished manufacturers to learn to start with the NAFDAC from the conception stage of manufacturing so as to spend less and get it right at first attempt.
The south-south regional coordinator of NAFDAC, Isijola Subulade, told top delegation of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN, Rivers/Bayelsa), led by the chapter chairman, Adawari Michael-Pepple, a senator, that middlemen and fake consultants hang around the streets and offices to intercept processing of applications.
She said most victims recover after losing millions of naira to the fakes for fees that may be as low as N50,000. She said the duped manufacturers and producers often weep after realising the truth. “Their eyes open when they have been thoroughly duped. They end up crying in my office”.
She said: “Middlemen and counterfeit consultants have caused havoc, but if you walk in straight, we counsel you aright. We feel sad that many companies have lost huge sums getting it wrong”.
She told MAN members in the region to embrace the NAFDAC offices at both state and zonal levels and work closely with the officers and stop patronizing quacks, fakes and clerks that mess them up. “Also, give us information of fake products so we can act swiftly”.
She said the gain of working with NAFDAC from conception stage when land is about to be acquired is to get sound counsel on things such as whether the location is too close to the cemetery, source of gas, bad water sources, etc. “We can advise you to get another place and enhance approval processes instead of having to invest hugely only to find that the location alone makes the product not certifiable”.
On demand for making the standards known to MAN, Subulade, a pharmacist, referred all manufacturers to the NAFDAC website where all information is easily available. “You can then approach us for further clarifications and guidance as you progress”.
She made it clear that the NAFDAC Director-General, Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, a professor, who was appointed on November 3, 2017, has demonstrated enough passion for up-scaling local production and export over import and dependence on imported foods and drugs.
She said only a well-regulated local manufacturing environment could guarantee export quality goods for the sake of global competition.
Earlier, the MAN boss appealed to NAFDAC in the region to work closely with the manufacturers to reduce apprehension so as to make inspections and regulatory activities friendly.
Pepple said MAN wants to manufacture standard products and that members needed to have the standards at heart, saying the push for quality would help reduce importation.
He appealed to the agencies to launch serious crackdown on importers of substandard goods so that the striving by regulated local manufacturers would not perish at the feet of unregulated foreign exporters that dump substandard goods in Nigeria.
MAN said it was on a campaign of regulatory agencies whose activities impact seriously on local manufacture of goods. He said it is the manufacturing sector that has the task of massive job creation and must be supported by government agencies.