National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control
Abuja, FCT, Nigeria|
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a federal agency under the Federal Ministry of Health that is responsible for regulating and controlling the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and packaged water in Nigeria.
The Formation of NAFDAC
The organization was formed to checkmate illicit and counterfeit products in Nigeria in 1993 under the country's health and safety law. Adulterated and counterfeit drugs are a problem in Nigeria. In one 1989 incident, over 150 children died as a result of paracetamol syrup containing diethylene glycol. The problem of fake drugs was so severe that neighbouring countries such as Ghana and Sierra Leone officially banned the sale of drugs, foods and beverages products made in Nigeria.
Such problems led to the establishment of NAFDAC, with the goal of eliminating counterfeit pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages products that are not manufactured in Nigeria and ensuring that available medications are safe and effective.
In December 1992, NAFDAC's first governing council was formed. The council was chaired by Tanimu Saulawa. In January 1993, supporting legislation was approved as legislative Decree No. 15 of 1993. On January 1, 1994 NAFDAC was officially established as a “parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health”.
NAFDAC replaced an earlier Federal Ministry of Health body, the Directorate of Food and Drug Administration and Control, which had been deemed ineffective, partially because of lack of laws concerning fake drugs.
Administration of NAFDAC
Chairman and council
“(NAFDAC) is headed by a chairman who presides over a governing council appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Minister of Health.”Other council members are:
- The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health
- The director-general of NAFDAC
- Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON)
- National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD)
- The chairman of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN)
- The chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
- A representative each of the Pharmaceutical Group and the Food and Beverages Group of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria.
Three people from the general public are also represented on the council.
Several units make up NAFDAC:
- The Legal unit is charged with offering legal advice on “law arising from Employee-Employer relationship and is the custodian of legal documents and all agreements relating to the Agency."
- The Public Relations unit is headed by the director-general’s office. Its main function is to inform, sensitivize, enlighten and create awareness concerning the role of the Agency. The agency is divided into eight directorates with the last two newly added.
- Internal Audit provides a means of measuring the effectiveness of the system of internal control and accounting, and carries out special investigations.
NAFDAC has various basic functions. According to the requirements of its enabling decree, the Agency was authorized to:
- Regulate and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water and chemicals
- Conduct appropriate tests and ensure compliance with standard specifications designated and approved by the council for the effective control of quality of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water, and chemicals.
- Undertake appropriate investigation into the production premises and raw materials for food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals and establish a relevant quality assurance system, including certification of the production sites and of the regulated products
- Undertake inspection of imported foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, and chemicals and establish a relevant quality assurance system, including certification of the production sites and of the regulated products.
- Compile standard specifications, regulations, and guidelines for the production, importation, exportation, sale and distribution of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, and chemicals
- Undertake the registration of food, drugs, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals
- Control the exportation and issue quality certification of food, drugs, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals intended for export
- Establish and maintain relevant laboratories or other institutions in strategic areas of Nigeria as may be necessary for the performance of its functions.
NAFDAC envisions that by making these functions known, that its actions will be apparent “in all sectors that deal with food, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, and chemicals to the extent of instilling extra need for caution and compulsion to respect and obey existing regulations both for healthy, living and knowledge of certain sanctions or default.Despite the establishment of NAFDAC, the sale and use of fake drugs did not end.
New amendments since 2001
Dissatisfied with progress in combating fake drugs, President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration dissolved the management of NAFDAC in August 2000. In April 2001, a new management team, with Dora Akunyili as director-general, was inaugurated. The team re-organized the agency, which has been successful in the recent past due to three new federal policies:
- The outright ban on the importation of drugs and other regulated products through land borders.
- The designation of Calabar and Apapa sea ports, Murtala Muhammed and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airports as exclusive ports of entry for the importation of drugs and pharmaceutical raw materials.
- Release of shipping and cargo manifests by the Nigerian Ports Authority, shipping lines and airlines to NAFDAC inspectors. For several years, Nigeria was drowned in an ocean of fake drugs. Then “Dora Akunyili approached her job with zeal…, to preserve in ridding the Nigerian market of fake drugs and contaminated water sold as “pure water.”
NAFDAC has made several achievements over the years, including
- The creation of six zonal and 36 state offices for easier accessibility, which are being equipped to function effectively,
- Organization of workshops to enlighten various stakeholders, such as (a) pure water producers (b) the Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers Association (PPMDA), and (c) the National Union of Road Transport Workers and National Association of Road Transport Owners (NURTW & NARTO),
- Raising awareness not just in Nigeria, also in other countries like India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt,
- Holding meetings, in concert with the Chairman, House Committee on Health and his members, with Ambassadors of countries identified with exporting fake drugs into Nigeria and solicited their support to stop the trend,
- Achieving excellent results in the fight against counterfeit drugs, as evidenced by the public destruction of about 2 billion Naira worth of drugs from four sources, namely those handed over by repentant traders, those found in secret warehouses on tip off by the drug sellers and the public, and those seized by the drug sellers' internal task forces and NAFDAC task forces,
- Launch of anti-counterfeiting technologies by the Nigerian presidency see NOTE below:
Although the project has been launched, there are serious concerns of complicity, compromise and lack of professionalism in the delivery of the project; it does not however appear that the Presidency is aware of this. The above is buttressed by the following:
- Ensuring the formation of a wholesale Drug Mart as the bedrock of the sanitization exercise,
- Making NAFDAC activities more efficient to reduce delays in, for example, registration and inspection,
- Holding consultations with national and international stakeholders leading to various areas of assistance, including, in the areas of staff training, equipment donations and information sharing from United States Food and Drug Agency (USFDA), Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI), South African Medicines and Medical Devices regulatory Agency (SAMMDRA),
- Sending proposals for reviewing obsolete laws to the National Assembly, and
- Putting new guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) in place for all regulatory processes.
The activities of NAFDAC have been the subject of considerable scrutiny in recent years. The agency has drawn fire for being susceptible to overt government interference, subject to bribery, internal feuding and constant rumours and or allegations abound concerning misappropriation of funds. In one high-profile (and typical) case, the former NAFDAC director of finance and accounts, Andrew Ademola Mogbojuri, alleged mass fraud in 2015 against the agency's director-general, Dr. Paul Orhii. The agency claimed sour grapes was behind the allegation and labelled Mogbojuri's claim "misleading and cheap blackmail".
Orhii was also the subject of a sweeping fraud allegation by NAFDAC whistleblowers earlier in 2015. A petition was sent to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging frivolous contract awards and supplies, manipulated publicity efforts, donations and international air travel racketeering.
Two multinational beer companies (Guinness and Heineken) have decided to do it the illegal way, which insiders alleged is to bribe officials of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) to deny the manufacturers of local herbal gin accreditation, knowing that Nigerians who had been patronizing them will desist once they are not accredited by the agency. The bribes amount to millions of Naira.
Guinness was back in the NAFDAC glare in 2016. Having been fined about ₦1 billion in November 2015 for allegedly re-validating and using expired raw materials without prior approval, the multinational brewer responded with a lawsuit, which was quietly dropped in March 2016.
NAFDAC ensures it maintains very close contact with a number of national and international organizations whose activities relate to the functions of NAFDAC. Such Organizations include the following.
- Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria(CPC)
- Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)
- National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
- National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD)
- Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN)
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufactures Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN)
- Consumer Association of Nigeria
- Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN)
- Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)
- Association of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees of Nigeria (AFBTE)
- National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF)
- Association of Nigeria Custom Licensed Agents (ANCLA)
- Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers Association (PPMDA)
- National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW)
- National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO)
In order to keep in touch with the international scene for information, training, co-operation assistance, aid and for financing of specific projects, especially in these days of global and national austerity, the agency maintains close relationship with a number of international agencies some of which include:
- United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Codex Alimentarius Commission of Food and Agriculture Organization (CACFAO)
- United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)
- Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI).
- Dora Akunyili
- Mojisola Adeyeye
- RxNigeria.com - An online database of pharmaceuticals and allied products approved for use in Nigeria by NAFDAC.
- About NAFDAC. 2005. Retrieved on 2006-03-27
- NAFDAC: Battle against fake drugs. 2003-03-04. Retrieved on 2006-03-25
- The Director General: Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili (OFR) – Biography. NAFDAC Nigeria. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- Achievements. (2005). Retrieved on March 31, 2006, from http://www.nafdacnigeria.org/achievements.html
- Okoghenun, Joseph. "NAFDAC denies alleged funds misuse by DG". Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "NAFDAC In Rotting State, Petitioners Say, Alleging Fraud And Waste". Sahara Reporters. July 17, 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Oluwabunmi, Obarotimi (December 30, 2013). "Multinational conspiracy as Guinness and Nigerian Breweries Team-Up Against Local Herbal Gin Makers". Society Gazette. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Oguh, Chibuike (12 November 2015). "NAFDAC fines Guinness $5 million over expired raw materials". Financial Nigeria. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Guinness Nigeria withdraws suit against NAFDAC, pays N11.4 million fine". Premium Times. March 11, 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Stakeholders. (2005). Retrieved on April 10, 2006 from http://www.nafdacnigeria.org/stakeholders.html