The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a parastatal charged with the duty of regulating and controlling the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of Food, Drugs, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, Packaged Water, Regulated products like Chemicals and Detergents. Below we discuss the important Functions of NAFDAC in Nigeria
The agency was founded in October 1992 under Decree No. 15 of the 1993 constitution which was amended by Decree No. 19 of 1999 and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act Cap N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.
NAFDAC seeks to safeguard Public Health by making sure that only quality and appropriate drugs, foods, and regulated substances are produced and made available for use in Nigeria. They also necessitate the importance and availability of effective products across the country.
The agency guarantees discipline and diligence in its workforce, by matching up to the reference standards in International laboratories.
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FUNCTIONS OF NAFDAC IN NIGERIA
The functions of NAFDAC are in alignment with the purposes for its establishment. Some of these functions include;
1. REGULATION OF IMPORT AND EXPORT PRODUCTS:
Amongst the foremost functions of NAFDAC in Nigeria is the regulation of import and export products. The NAFDAC must control and regulate how food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and other consumer products enter or leave the country through import and export activities.
The Nigerian Customs Authority works with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control to supervise the foods, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, and household products imported into and exported out of the country.
This is the avenue through which illegal and contraband goods are confiscated before they are distributed across the country. After the legality of the products has been established by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control, then they would be made to pass through a quality assurance test. These processes enable the government to regulate the goods entering the country.
With the control that NAFDAC places on the exportation of products, there is reduced marketing of fake and expired regulatory products outside the country. The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control ensure that products must have been evaluated and properly accessed to ascertain if they reached the guidelines stipulated by the agency.
2. CONDUCTION OF VALUATION TESTS:
The agency conducts evaluation tests to ensure that industries and companies reach the standard qualifications as specified and approved by the Council. This is one of the major functions of the agency. The agency has some designated rules which they use for the effective control of raw materials and regulated products; their production processes and the location of the industries.
They investigate the production sites and premises and inspect import goods through their quality and valuation systems. The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control carry out tests for food and drugs imported into the country to ensure that they are up to standard.
Manufactured Food and Drugs are not consumable in Nigeria until they are validated by the NAFDAC seal.
The establishment and maintenance of laboratories is one mechanism that is relevant to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control for carrying out tests. The agency checks if products are up to the standard qualifications and specifications by undertaking feasibility studies on them in the said laboratories.
3. CERTIFICATION OF INDUSTRIES
Food and Drug Production industries are certified under the NAFDAC. They undertake the registration of foods, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, bottled water, detergents, and other household chemicals. Products intended for export are issued certificates of quality before they can be marketed.
4. SPECIFICATION AND REGULATION OF PRODUCTION
The compilation of standard regulations, specifications, and guidelines for the manufacture, marketing, and distribution is one of the duties of NAFDAC. They set up the standard for this basis.
Regularly, NAFDAC tours production houses to investigate the hygiene situation of those industries; to find out if they are conducive for production or not. Raw materials, Cosmetics, household chemicals are included in this inspection.
These specifications are compiled in such a standard that appeals to a wide range of individuals and does not threaten the life and productivity of persons in society. They not only specify standards but also, compile the guidelines.
5. PREVENTION OF DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE:
NAFDAC collaborates with National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to eradicate drug and substances abuse in Nigeria. They authorize the import, export, sales, and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances among other controlled substances.
The board advocates the importance of consuming quality and safe products which must have passed through the appropriate analysis. They own and maintain establishments and laboratories in sparse areas of Nigeria for the performance of most of its functions.
6. REGISTRATION OF FOOD AND DRUGS:
For any manufactured product to thrive and sell in Nigeria, it has to be registered and marked up with a seal from the NAFDAC. All packaged edible foods and drugs must have a Registered number under NAFDAC. It is advised that before you consume any product, endeavor to check if it has a NAFDAC number. This is because some of the products lacking this number might be expired or not durable.
7. GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTIONS:
The National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control advises the Government, private sector, and other Regulatory bodies with regards to the quality, safety, and efficacy in providing regulated products.
They are the ones that issue instructions, guidelines, and grant approvals to food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and household chemicals. They also monitor the advertisement and marketing of such products. They aggregate and publicize relevant information gotten from the performance of the agency’s functions and those from other sources relating to the agency.
Sponsorship and Organisation of National and International conferences are appropriate functions of NAFDAC. They work in unison with relevant establishments both within and outside the nation for the attainment of its goals. Such activities are necessary and expedient to the body and the Government for the performance of its functions.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control plays a vital role in society as you’ve seen in the above-listed functions of NAFDAC in Nigeria. Without this body, there would not be a regulation on the Food and Drugs consumed or even household chemicals and cosmetics we make use of.
It is of due importance that this body is recognized for its functions, as a lot would not have been achievable without them.