The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged critical stakeholders to join the organisation in the fight against counterfeit, adulterated and unregistered products, especially in the South-East of the country.
The South-East Zonal Co-ordinator of NAFDAC, Mr Fori Tatama, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Enugu.
“We want them to know that joining NAFDAC in its core mandate of fighting against would benefit them greatly, especially majority of them that deal in genuine and registered products.
“First, we are going to have regular interaction and interface with market unions and associations to engage them effectively in our war against counterfeit, adulterated and unregistered products in markets across the South-East.
“Secondly, we are going to sensitise them to the need to engage in export-driven businesses, which will make them shift from the importers, most of them are today, to exporters.
“The agency will do free laboratory testing for the export products, especially traders dealing in agro-allied products and other finished products under the agency’s regulation meant for export.
“We have found out that the South-East traders, by providence and hard work, are good in business and they can take business risk.
“So we want them to take advantage of the new Federal Government supported export-drive initiative.
“NAFDAC and other Federal Government agencies are ready to assist them succeed in the export business through standardisation and other export-trade facilitation incentives,’’ he said.
Tatama assured that the sensitisation would be enhanced the core mandate of NAFDAC in 2018 in South-East.
NAFDAC was established in 1993 under the country’s health and safety law to checkmate illicit and counterfeit products in Nigeria.
It is also to regulate and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water and chemicals
NAFDAC also has the mandate to conduct appropriate tests and ensure compliance with standard specifications, designated and approved by the council for the effective control of quality of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water, and chemicals among others.
“Over time, we have learnt that it is easier to stop a product that has question mark at the major markets, where the products are sold at wholesome and unit-bulks to retailers, who spreads it to every nook and cranny of the zone, ”he said.
Tatama said regular interactions with the market unions and associations would commence January 2018 to ensure a “win-win situation” for both the traders and the government.
He expressed optimism that the success of the fight against of fake products would further improve the economy.