The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control is set to register and certify premises of chemical manufacturers in order to boost the nation’s economy.
It has also agreed with manufacturers of chemical products in Nigeria to explore the international market with chemical products to enhance the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
A statement signed on Sunday by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Olusayo Akintola, stated that NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this during a virtual stakeholders’ meeting with chemical manufacturers.
Adeyeye said 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 was in line with international best practices.
She said the aim of the stakeholders meeting was to sensitise, enlighten 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.
The NAFDAC boss noted 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 put in place effective regulations and guidelines for sound chemical management in Nigeria.
She said this was achieved by ensuring proper utilisation of chemicals in a manner that reduces risk to health and environment.
Adeyeye said 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 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.
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.
“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.”
Adeyeye said 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 manufacturer.
Adeyeye said 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 the increase in local manufacturing capabilities.
Adeyeye said the increase in production has led to the growth in the chemical industry in Nigeria and that the safe and secured management of chemical in the manufacturing sector was an issue that requires a collaborative effort between the regulators and the industries.
Pieter De-Konnick, a Belgian, who is the Managing Director of Brenntag Chemical Nigeria Limited, producers 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 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 it 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 the hitherto bottlenecks in procuring NAFDAC Import Permit has 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.