The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has read the riot act to the clearing agents and importers operating at the nation's ports.
The agency said the era of fraudulent activities has come to an end with a view to safeguarding the health of Nigerian populace and the economy.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye gave the warning in Abuja, at a virtual sensitisation workshop organised for stakeholders in export and import trade activities at the nation's ports which included National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mine, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Multinationals amongst others.
Adeyeye, however, reiterated that NAFDAC would not tolerate any unprofessional act from any of its stakeholders be it importers or clearing agents.
She added that the disturbing development where agents and possibly with the connivance of importers engage in falsification of NAFDAC documents will not be tolerated nor treated with kid gloves any longer.
She urged importers to always ensure that they make it their responsibility to initiate clearance of their goods.
The NAFDAC boss advised importers to desist from entrusting the entire process of clearance of their consignments to the agents, stressing that whenever the agents run into trouble with the regulatory authorities, they would always want to cut corners, leaving the importer in the lurch at the end of a botched transaction as a result of failure to meet the requirements of the agency.
Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC has deployed various improvements in its processes that will ensure auto verification of documents presented to the agency during clearing, place in the hand of stakeholders the ability to verify the true status of clearance of regulated products.
The NAFDAC DG however, advised all importers and clearing agents to ensure that they complete every clearing transaction with NAFDAC up to the point of generation of NAFDAC electronic Release Notices.
She reiterated her commitment to the modernisation of NAFDAC's processes and institutionalisation of international best practices in the way activities are conducted in the agency.
"I wish to appeal that you comply with the fast-changing updates currently ongoing in NAFDAC. These include the current issuance of electronic NAFDAC Invoices, NAFDAC Receipts, First Endorsement Notices and Release Notices.
"We are conscientiously working towards assisting stakeholders to achieve regulatory compliance by ensuring that these requirements are made transparent and accessible to stakeholders through the availability of Regulations, Guidelines, Tariff, and process requirements on the NAFDAC website.
"I have also ensured that we maintain transparency and continue the implementation of the Quality Management Systems in our Ports processes.
This has led to a review and update of existing Standards Operating Procedures (SOP) and implementation of strategic QMS activities for ISO 9001-2015 certification and entrenchment of WHO Global benchmarking (ISO 9004) across all the Airports, Seaports, and land borders, "she said.
The NAFDAC boss added that she has also gone further to ensure that the Clean Report of Inspection and Analysis (CRIA) scheme was strengthened for the purpose of establishing the quality and safety of regulated products before they are shipped from China and India to Nigeria.
Also speaking, the NCS boss who was represented by Deputy Controller General, Saidu Abubakar, noted that, "this kind of synergy will go a long way in facilitating trade and also create an avenue for reducing major issues that affect our stakeholders."
On his part, Adeyemi Folorunso who stood in for MAN DG, noted that the sensitisation webinar organized by NAFDAC would help to sanitise the nation's ports.
He said the workshop would go a long way in curbing fake and counterfeit products in the Nigerian market, stressing that this would invariably help boost the association's members' market shares with genuine products.
He however, pledged MAN's continued partnership with NAFADC with a view to safeguarding the health of the nation.