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Functions of NAFDAC and Brief History

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a Nigerian government agency under the Federal Ministry of Health established for the purpose of prohibiting the production and circulation of illegal and fake drugs in Nigeria. The agency was formed in 1993 when the supportive legislation was approved under Decree No. 15 and amended by Decree No. 19 of 1999. The decree is now the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act Cap N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.

Functions of NAFDAC and Brief History

The organization governs and put measures in place to control the production, trading, distribution, advertisement, and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water, chemicals and detergents (collectively known as regulated products).

The agency was officially established in October 1992 under the country’s health and safety law.

The establishment of NAFDAC was necessitated by an event in 1989 where over 150 children died as a result of harmful substances, diethylene and glycol contained in a paracetamol syrup. This also affected the image of the country internationally as other neighbouring countries such as Ghana and Sierra Leone prohibited the sales of food substances, drugs and beverages manufactured in Nigeria.

The formation of the agency was also inspired by a world health assembly held in 1988 that requested the help of countries in combating the production and circulation of fake pharmaceuticals. An agency had been in place called the Directorate of Food and Drug Administration and Control which was deemed redundant and was in turn replaced by NAFDAC.

The NAFDAC’s organization consists of the Director General’s Office and fourteen (14) directorates governing the operations of the agency:

NAFDAC’s first governing council was formed in December 1992. The council was chaired by Tanimu Saulawa and was formally established as a Government parastatal on January 1, 1994.

Vision / Mission of NAFDAC

Counterfeit drugs and goods is still a problem in Nigeria. NAFDAC aims at safeguarding public health through measures put in place by the law so as to ensure that only standardized drugs, food are manufactured and used by the public.

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Functions of NAFDAC         

NAFDAC has numerous functions that aim at achieving its goal. According to the requirement of the decree by which it was established, the agency is enabled to:

  • Oversee properly registration of products such as drugs, cosmetics, detergents and chemicals so as to ensure their highest quality
  • Advocate for food safety programmes by ensuring food facilities are in line with good manufacturing practice (GMP). This is to maintain a good quality of food product that is safe for human consumption
  • Regulate and control the production, trading, importation, exportation, circulation, use of food, cosmetics, drugs, Chemicals and detergents and other regulated products.
  • Examine and probe into premises where production takes place, raw materials in use which includes endorsement of production sites and of
  • Properly scrutinize imported products to ensure relevant quality assurance systems
  • Develop, operate and improve inspection methods to ensure effective raids so as to guarantee safe, medicinal products, cosmetics & allied products.
  • Responsible for putting together standard specifications regulations and guidelines for the production, exportation, importation, trading, distribution and registration of regulated products;
  • Issuance of quality certification of products for exportation
  • Inspect storage facilities to ensure safety of goods
  • The laboratory Services Directorate is responsible for establishing and maintaining relevant laboratories
  • Ensuring these laboratories conduct appropriate tests and in compliance with standard specifications that have been designed and approved by the governing council. This regulates the use of raw materials from the production stages in factories and other organizations.
  • Announce on the quality and safety of Products after appropriate thorough analysis
  • The Narcotics and Controlled substances Directorate is enabled to permit the importation and exportation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as other controlled substances
  • The narcotics and controlled Substances Directorate puts up measures to make sure narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are used only for scientific and medicinal purposes
  • Grant authorization for the importation and exportation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as other controlled substances;
  • In order to carry out its functions pf eradication of drug abuse in Nigeria, the agency would need to partner with similar agencies such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
  • Consultancy services to governments, private sector and other interested organizations regarding the quality, safety and regulatory provisions of products;
  • Approve and monitor the advertisement of products
  • Give accurate data on the activities and performances of the agency
  • Educate the masses via conferences on the quality, safety and regulation provisions of goods and products
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Structure of NAFDAC

The agency is led by a chairman of a governing council appointed by the president and based on the recommendation of the Minister of health. Other members of the council are:

  1. The Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health
  2. The Director-General of NAFDAC
  3. Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON)
  4. National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD)
  5. The Chairman of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN)
  6. The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
  7. A representative from the Pharmaceutical Group and the Food and Beverages Group of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria
  8. Three people from the general public are also represented on the council

The agency is led by the Director General’s office who oversees the overall functions of the agency which includes the regulation and administration of products. The current Director-General is Professor Moji Christianah Adeyeye.

There are four divisions under the Director General’s office which are the Internal Audit unit, the procurement unit, the Technical services and the Communication Technology.

  • The Legal unit is responsible for providing legal advice and is also the custodian of legal documents and all agreements which concerns the Agency.”[1]
  • The Public Relations unit is headed by the director-general’s office. Its role is to inform the general public on the functions of the agency and how its activities
  • Internal Audit oversees the financial sector of the agency by providing a means of measuring the effectiveness of the organization in terms of internal control and accounting. This unit also carries out special investigations.