The regulation of veterinary medicines, veterinary vaccines, pesticides and agrochemicals, animal feeds, animal feed additives and feed supplements and their uses are essential towards achieving food safety and food security in Nigeria.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye stated this at the virtual meeting with stakeholders in the sector, where she also informed the gathering that regulatory activities regarding these products are currently being reviewed.
In a statement signed by Sayo Akintola, NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant in Lagos on Sunday, Prof. Adeyeye stated that the Agency is committed and willing to collaborate with all and sundry on all activities that will ensure food security and food safety in the country. “Therefore, it is time for stakeholders to embrace the efforts of the government Agencies towards effective regulations to achieve a giant stride in food safety in Nigeria.”
According to her, the Agency will continue to ensure that food available for consumption is safe, wholesome and of the right quality as entrenched in NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004, reiterating that the Agency in fulfilling this mandate is adding impetus to her regulatory activities through industrial outreach and collaboration with stakeholders and fostering synergy within her technical Directorates to attain a seamless regulatory process.
To this end, this year stakeholders’ engagement was designed to encourage active participation by technical Directorates to adequately address all the grey areas and to achieve a robust interaction.
Series of actions taken in combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) was listed to the participating stakeholders. Prof. Adeyeye also informed the audience that the formulation of veterinary antibiotics has been reviewed and should not contain more than two actives.
She thereby encouraged the participants on the use of effective biosecurity and have in place good hygienic and sanitary practices in the farms. According to her, this will lead to the production of healthy food from animals’ origin.
“Anti-Microbial Resistant (AMR), residues and other health risks can also be reduced in our agricultural produce to ensure that the food in circulation will not cause harm or illness to consumers while also enhancing international trade,” she said.
She made a reference to the additional measures that have been put in place by the Agency to strengthen the regulation of veterinary products, pesticides, and animal feeds. These measures are there to ensure “a safer feed for a safer food of animal origin in the country.”
She added that the recent modalities taken to review the packaging and presentation of pesticides and agrochemicals are aimed at achieving its safe and responsible use. The DG added that risk based GMP assessment of manufacturing facilities, especially the veterinary pharmaceuticals, is introduced to achieve global best practices.
According to the NAFDAC boss, the emerging trend of events in global food safety has revealed that the safety of food and wellbeing of humans directly and indirectly depend on animal health and the environment.
“This involves a multi-disciplinary approach that should be effectively explored. The Agency is already working and willing to work more with relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) both at Federal and State levels on all activities and processes in the food value chain,” Prof Adeyeye said.
In a bid to sensitize stakeholders on Veterinary Medicines and Allied Products (VMAP) activities and recent development, the stakeholders’ engagement furthermore stressed the need for compliance to the NAFDAC regulatory requirements, benefits of adherence to global best practices such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Good Storage Practice (GSP), Good Distribution Practice (GDP) and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), amongst others, to help prevent contaminations.
The Director-General reiterated the need for effective self-regulation among members while she sought a strengthened and sustained collaboration with stakeholders toward a more effective regulation and active involvement in regulatory activities.
Stakeholders that attended the annual engagement with the Agency include the Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN), Nigeria Veterinary Medicines Association (NVMA) and the Association of Nigeria Veterinary and Allied Industries (ANVAI)
Others included the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Commercial Millers, Feed Industry Practitioners Association of Nigeria (FIPAN), Feed Millers selected for HACCP implementation program and Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), the Manufacturers of pesticides and agrochemicals, importers and marketers of pesticides and agrochemicals, NAIDA, Crop Life Nigeria and All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), as well as the importers of veterinary drugs and vaccines and local manufacturers of veterinary drugs.