NAFDAC threatens to jail fraudulent importers, agents

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has threatened to jail freight forwarders and importers who collude to falsify its documents.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the warning during the agency’s virtual sensitisation workshop for stakeholders in the export and import trade at the ports.

She stated that the agency was determined to safeguard the health of the Nigerian populace and the economy.

“NAFDAC will not tolerate any unprofessional act from any of its stakeholders – importers or clearing agents,” a statement from the Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, quoted Adeyeye as saying. “We shall take all legal means as an agency set up the law to prosecute any errant stakeholder.”

The NAFDAC DG urged importers to always take responsibility to initiate clearance of their goods and desist from entrusting the entire clearing process to agents.

“When the agents run into trouble with regulators, they begin to cut corners, leaving the importer in the lurch at the end of a botched transaction due to failure to meet requirements.

“As we try to enforce compliance among our clients, NAFDAC has deployed improvements in its processes that will ensure auto verification of documents presented to the agency during clearing, place in the hands of stakeholders the ability to verify the true status of clearance of regulated products, and ensure that we reward clients with low-risk profile,” she said.

Adeyeye further advised importers and clearing agents to complete every clearing transaction with the agency up to the point of generating NAFDAC electronic release notices.

She reiterated her commitment to international best practices and modernising NAFDAC’s processes in the way activities are conducted in the agency.

“I wish to appeal that you comply with the fast-changing updates in NAFDAC. These include the issuance of electronic NAFDAC invoices, receipts, first endorsement notices and release notices.

“We are conscientiously working towards assisting stakeholders to achieve regulatory compliance by ensuring that these requirements are transparent and accessible to through the availability of regulations, guidelines, tariff and process requirements on the NAFDAC website,” she added.

Meanwhile, NAFDAC says it has gone further to ensure that the Clean Report of Inspection and Analysis scheme was strengthened to establish the quality and safety of regulated products before they are shipped in from China and India.

Through this, the agency has since March 1, 2020, when it begun the new phase of the CRIA scheme, prevented the export of over 40 pharmaceutical and food products that failed laboratory analysis to Nigeria, she disclosed.

NAFDAC had also intercepted over 200 containers of fake and substandard pharmaceuticals that were intended to be cleared from the ports and borders.

Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole is a Transport correspondent. He reports Maritime, Aviation and Rail/Road Transport for Financial Street.

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