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 catalyst for industrial growth.
Consequently, the agency has created a portal for registration of chemical products for effective quality control and strict adherence to international best practices.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this 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.
She observed that chemical products manufactured in Nigeria would enjoy wider acceptability and high competitiveness with the NAFDAC’s registration identity.
Adeyeye stated that 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 development of the real sector of the economy.
She said: ‘’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.”
Adeyeye added that the objective of the deliberations was in line 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 the 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 had 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.
‘’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 and 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.
Managing Director /CEO of Brenntag Chemical Nigeria Limited, producers of liquid caustic Soda, Mr Pieter De Konnick, 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.
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 platforms 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.