…to boost Nigerian economy and grow real sector
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and manufacturers of chemical products in Nigeria have agreed to explore the international market to enhance the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and serve as a potent catalyst for industrial growth.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, dropped the hint on Thursday during a virtual chemical manufacturers’ stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Agency with the aim of sensitizing, enlightening, and creating awareness on the current trends in the regulation of the manufacture of Chemicals with emphasis on the need to be listed as a Chemical Manufacturer in Nigeria.
She added that the objective of the deliberations augur well with the current focus of the NAFDAC management to bring the Agency’s regulatory activities in line with international best practices.
The NAFDAC boss noted that Chemical Evaluation and Research Directorate has the mandate to safeguard public health by ensuring that only the right quality chemicals are manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold and used in Nigeria.
Prof Adeyeye disclosed that the directorate has put in place effective regulations and guidelines for sound chemical management in Nigeria.
“This is achieved by ensuring proper utilization of chemicals in a manner that reduces risk to health and environment and advocating for use of chemicals that are less harmful and hazardous,” she said.
Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos quoted Prof Adeyeye as saying that a portal has been created by the agency for registration of chemical products for effective quality control and strict adherence to international best practices.
She admitted that chemical products manufactured in Nigeria would enjoy wider acceptability and high competitiveness with the NAFDAC registration identity.
According to her, penetrating the international market would further enable the industry to grow with more Nigerians gaining employment opportunities sequel to the expected expansion in the operations of the manufacturers and invariably the accompany development of the real sector of the economy.
“Chemicals no doubt play a pivotal role in the economic development of any country. Nigeria as an economy in transition has many needs of Chemicals for her numerous industries,”she said, stressing that some of these chemicals are now manufactured in the country and this creates an environment of heightened concern that NAFDAC is expected to play a leading role in strengthening Chemical safety and security.
The NAFDAC Act empowers the Agency to undertake appropriate investigations into the production premises and raw materials for food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals and establish relevant quality assurance systems, including certificates of the production sites and of the regulated products.
Prof Adeyeye further said that the law also compels all handlers of chemicals to adhere strictly to all the stipulated guidelines for sound Chemical management in order to safeguard our health and protect the environment. “This underscores the reason why we communicate any change in regulations to our stakeholders.”
She however, disclosed that listing of Chemical manufacturers was initiated to address the existing gap in the regulation of the manufacture of chemicals in Nigeria.
“Manufacturers required to be listed as a chemical manufacturer include those involved in the manufacture of specialty chemicals, laboratory chemicals and reagents, industrial chemicals, inks, paints, adhesives, wood preservatives & polishers, cleaning chemicals, agrochemicals, biocides, fertilizers, car care chemicals.”
She noted that the use of Chemicals has increased geometrically in the past years in Nigeria resulting in increase in the local manufacturing capabilities for chemicals.
This increase in local Chemical manufacture and industrialization of the economy, Prof Adeyeye said, has led to growth in the chemical industry in Nigeria, noting that the safe and secured management of Chemicals especially in the manufacturing sector is therefore an issue of growing importance that requires a collaborative effort between the regulators and the industry.
Chief executive officers of chemical manufacturing companies amongst over 94 stakeholders, including members of the Amalgamated Association of Chemical Marketers of Nigeria, that participated commended the ingenuity and courage of Prof Adeyeye in creating the directorate dedicated to the regulation and control of the nation’s chemical industry.
Managing Director /CEO of Brenntag Chemical Nigeria Limited, producers of liquid caustic Soda, Mr Pieter De Konnick, a Belgian, said NAFDAC’s involvement in regulating the chemical manufacturing sector will bring it to limelight and reposition the Nigeria chemical industry for economic growth.
“This is my eighth year in Nigeria; this is the best thing that has happened to me in this industry,” he said as he showered encomiums on the leadership of the agency for the wonderful job they have been doing.
Speaking in the same vein, the managing director/CEO of Unikem Industries Limited, producers of Ethanol from cassava, Mr Uzor Kalu, and Mr Paul Audu, MD/CEO of Roychem Industries Limited, said the hitherto bottlenecks in procuring NAFDAC Import Permit have disappeared since Prof. Adeyeye became the Director General of NAFDAC.
They noted that NAFDAC import permit and removal certificates were often done in January of every year with its negative implications in terms of having plans for the year to be activated.
Both industrialists however, disclosed that the introduction of online platform via electronic process by Prof Adeyeye had made application and processing of the vital import documents completed in the last quarter of every year while manufacturers already have the documentation done in readiness for the new year.
“Just by the first day of the year manufacturers are ready to go. That has brought some positive impact in achieving milestones,” said the Roychem Industry boss.
In her presentation on “Processes for listing as a chemical manufacturer” the Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, NAFDAC, Dr Ngozi Onuorah said “once the Good Manufacture Practice GMP of the factory is adjudged satisfactory and other submitted documents found to be satisfactory, NAFDAC issues a listing certificate as a chemical Manufacturer.”