The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has disclosed that plans have been concluded to begin registration and certification of offices and premises belonging to chemical manufacturers across the country in line with its drive revenue generation and boost the nation’s economy.
Aside from registration and certification, the regulatory agency noted that it has also reached an agreement with manufacturers of chemical products in Nigeria to explore the international market with chemical products to enhance the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said that the product would also serve as a potent catalyst for industrial growth, adding that the current focus of the NAFDAC management was to ensure the agency’s regulatory activities were in line with international best practices.
Speaking during a virtual stakeholders’ meeting with chemical manufacturers during the weekend, the NAFDAC boss noted that the aim of the stakeholders meeting was to sensitize, enlightened, and create 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.
Adeyeye said that the chemical evaluation and research directorate has the mandate to ensure that only the right quality chemicals are manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold, and used in Nigeria.
Adeyeye disclosed that the directorate has also put in place effective regulations and guidelines for sound chemical management in Nigeria and that the feat was achieved by ensuring proper utilisation of chemicals in a manner that reduces risk to health and the environment.
Adeyeye said that it also advocate for use of chemicals that are less harmful and hazardous, adding that, a portal had been created by the agency for registration of chemical products for strict adherence to international best practices.
She further said 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 will bring growth to the industry, and more Nigerians will secure employment opportunities sequel to the expected expansion in the operations of the manufacturers.
‘’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. 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 production premises and raw materials for food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, and chemicals. The Act also empowered the agency to establish relevant quality assurance systems, including certificates of the production sites and of the regulated products,” she said.
Adeyeye 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 health and protect the environment.
According to her, this underscores the reason the agency communicates any change in regulations to stakeholders. She disclosed that listing of chemical manufacturers was initiated to address the existing gap in the regulation of the manufacture of chemicals in Nigeria, adding that manufacturers required to be listed as chemical manufacturers.
Adeyeye said that those involved in the manufacture of specialty chemicals, laboratory chemicals, industrial chemicals, inks, paints, adhesives, wood preservatives, polishers, cleaning chemicals, agrochemicals, biocides, fertilizers, and others also need to be listed.
She noted that the use of Chemicals has increased geometrically in the past years in Nigeria resulting in an increase in local manufacturing capabilities.
Adeyeye said that the increase in production has led to the growth in the chemical industry in Nigeria and that the safe and secured management of chemicals in the manufacturing sector was an issue that requires a collaborative effort between the regulators and the industries.
On his part, the Managing Director of Brenntag Chemical Nigeria Limited, Pieter De-Konnick, who is the producer of liquid Caustic Soda, commended NAFDAC for the initiatives.
According to De-Konnick, NAFDAC’s involvement in regulating the chemical manufacturing sector will bring it to the limelight and reposition 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, the NAFDAC is wonderful in its drive to regulate this industry,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Unikem Industries Limited, producers of Ethanol from cassava, Uzor Kalu and Paul Audu, Managing Director of Roychem Industries Limited, said that the hitherto bottlenecks in procuring NAFDAC Import Permit have disappeared.
They both noted that since Adeyeye became NAFDAC boss, import permit and removal certificates were often done easily and have a plan to activate the year.
The introduction of online platform via electronic process by 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.