National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a Nigerian Federal agency established by Decree No. 15 of 1993 even though the Agency began operations in October 1992. This was later amended by Decree No. 19 of 1999, and on return to Civil Rule was passed into law as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act Cap N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.
NAFDAC has power under law to regulate and control everything regarding food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water, chemicals and detergents in Nigeria, including the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of these products.
With such wide range of powers in safeguarding public health, it is no surprise that the agency has a long list of functions.
These are the functions of NAFDAC:
1. Regulation and Control
The regulation and control of importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of regulated products is the primary function of NAFDAC. These regulated products include food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, chemicals and detergents.
2. Compilation of standards and guidelines
NAFDAC compiles the standards, specifications, regulations and guidelines for the production, distribution, sales, registration, importation and exportation of regulated products. These standards and guidelines are made in conjunction with various stakeholders and experts in the industry. This is done by the Planning, Research & Statistics Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
3. Testing of raw material and products
NAFDAC conducts testing of regulated products, their raw materials and the production processes in factories and other establishments to check their quality. This is to make sure that they comply with standards and specifications approved by the agency. This is done by the Laboratory Services Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
4. Investigation of production premises of regulated products
The agency investigates the production premises and raw materials of regulated products. This is done by the Investigation & Enforcement Directorate and other directorates of the agency and it is to enable them establish relevant quality assurance systems, which includes certification of production sites and of regulated products.
5. Establishment of quality assurance systems
Imported regulated products are inspected by the agency, which set up relevant quality assurance systems to ensure that they are up to requisite standards. This may include the certification of the production sites of these products outside the shores of this country.
6. Registration of all regulated products
NAFDAC ensures the registration of drugs, foods, medical devices bottled water, cosmetics, chemicals and detergents. This is done by the Registration and Regulatory Affairs Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
7. Certification of regulated products for exports
For every of the regulated products that is exported from Nigeria, NAFDAC checks the quality and issue quality certification of products intended for export. This is done by the Port Inspectorate Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
8. Run laboratories for products testing
NAFDAC is tasked with establishing relevant laboratories in various locations across Nigeria and maintaining them for the performance of its various functions. This is done by the Laboratory Services Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
9. Declare quality of products
The agency decides on the quality and safety of all regulated products after analysis and make pronouncement on this to the general public. This is done by the Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
10. Ensure limited use of controlled substances
NAFDAC takes directs measures to make sure that use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are limited to only medical and scientific purposes. This is done by the Investigation & Enforcement Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
11. Authorization of controlled substances trade
The agency grants authorization for the import and export of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and other controlled substances. This is done by the Narcotics & Controlled Substances Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
12. Collaboration on drug abuse eradication
The agency collaborates with other relevant government agencies, especially National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in the eradication of drug abuse in Nigeria.
13. Advise public on regulated products
NAFDAC advises various governments at all levels, private companies and other interested bodies regarding the safety, quality and regulatory provisions on regulated products.
14. Monitor and approve advertisement of regulated products
The agency grant approvals, gives appropriate guidelines, and monitor the advertisement of food, drugs, cosmetics, and other regulated products in conjunction with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). This is done by the Pharmacovigilance& Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
15. Publication of relevant data
NAFDAC collates and publishes data it acquires from its activities and other relevant sources in order to achieve better operational efficiency and increase public confidence in its processes. This is done by the Planning, Research & Statistics Directorate and other directorates of the agency.
16. Sponsorship of conferences on regulated products
The agency sponsors and take part in various conferences across the world that involves the regulation, standardization and control of regulated products and controlled substances in order to keep abreast of various new initiatives and developments in the field.
17. Maintenance of good relationship with relevant bodies
NAFDAC collaborates with other relevant governmental and non-governmental organizations in and outside Nigeria which will help and enable it to carry out its functions and activities for success in its operations.