The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have assured Nigerians that they are determined to eliminate fake and substandard products from the country.
They also express commitment to intensify intra-agency collaborations towards ridding the country of fake and sub-standard products.
Osita Aboloma, director-general of SON, explained that the move would strengthen the existing partnership between both agencies to stamp out illicit trade in Nigeria.
Aboloma stated this when Moji Adeyeye, director- general of NAFDAC, paid a courtesy visit to SON office in Abuja recently.
The SON helmsman said that the two sister regulatory agencies have the collective responsibility of working for the overall interest of the nation and her citizenry.
According to him, the enabling Acts guiding the two agencies as well as directives from the Presidency have clearly delineated their functions, stressing that areas of perceived overlap should be taken as opportunities for collaboration and cooperation rather than competition.
He said the use of the Harmonized Systems (HS) codes for examination of goods at the nation’s entry points was in line with international best practices and aimed at reducing conflicts to the barest minimum.
Aboloma advocated the expansion of the seamless collaboration between the two agencies in standards development activities at technical committees, standards compliance and enforcement as well as the joint membership of institutions like the National Codex Committee on food safety, among others.
He explained that the inspection visits by SON officials to factories producing NAFDAC regulated products based on SON’s Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) have remained statutory and in line with the World Trade Organisation requirements. This, according to Aboloma, was in relation to the off-shore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for imported products in order to ensure a level playing field for locally manufactured and imported products.
In her response, the new NAFDAC CEO said her decades of practice as an academic and researcher in area of raw materials and chemicals had impacted on her, promising to provide the required support to her team towards the achieving of the objectives of the joint standing committee of the two agencies.
“I look forward to greater and more regular interactions with the SON DG and management in the coming years to deepen the existing cordial relationship” she said.