The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says its operations will not hinder the certification and acceptability of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) products.
Mrs Christiana Obiazikwor, NAFDAC Chief Public Relations Officer, told Newsverge in Lagos that many SMEs believed that the agency was trying to frustrate them out of business.
Obiazikwor said, “These producers say our conditions are too stringent, and they tagged us as a major hindrance to getting their products certified and globally acceptable.
“This is untrue. People who have not even approached the agency for anything already have an opinion about it based on what others have said.
“We have to be strict to ensure compliance. It is imperative to know that the high volume of unregistered foods will limit our chances of exporting our God-given products.
“Our duty is not just to shut down erring companies or arrest unregistered food and drug ventures, but to also guide and put them through on how to start or continue in a bigger way.’’
She advised intending manufacturers to come forward for advice and guidance to avoid making mistakes in their businesses.
Obiazikwor said that the agency was shouldered with the responsibility of protecting businesses and citizens, considering the large volume of imported products flooding the nation’s markets.
“We need to state categorically that one of our core mandates is to help push out our locally produced foods and drugs.
“These products, however, need to be certified, they need to go through our laboratories before getting to the world.
“One of our major challenges is that many manufacturers of food and drug products refused to show up for testing of their products.
“Even, when they show up, once they are briefed on the steps to take, they get scared and do not pursue their certification to its logical conclusion,’’ the NAFDAC chief said.
Obiazikwor said that the agency has provision for cottage production, otherwise known as “kitchen production’’ for micro-entrepreneurs to be registered with some waivers and considerations.