NAFDAC to issue approvals within 90 days, arrests fraud syndicate, counterfeiters
SON to complete all processes in 60 days
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, yesterday said the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and relevant agencies will now issue approvals within 90 days.
He said this is part of ongoing reforms aimed at easing the processes of doing business in Nigeria and to encourage Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs).
The minister stated this while speaking with journalists at the presidential villa after a meeting on the MSMEs clinic launched in Abia State by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in January.
Meanwhile, NAFDAC has arrested a syndicate involved in impersonating officials of the agency to defraud importers of regulated products.The suspects were paraded yesterday at the agency’s office in Lagos with others accused of illegal production of counterfeit alcoholic beverages, milk, and cough syrup.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, who was represented by the Director of Enforcement, Kingsley Ejiofor, disclosed this while briefing journalists.
She said the agency received complaints from the High Commission of Nigeria in New Delhi, India on behalf of a firm called Bharti Phosphates, a German manufacturer of pet food supplement and one Mr. Akeem from Tunisia who wanted to confirm whether he should pay money to a company in Nigeria called Samjoe Ventures for the registration and shipment of 5,000 metric tonnes of calcium carbonate.
The DG said investigation revealed that an international group led by Mr. Eze Okoronkwo, was behind the fraud. Also paraded were a distributor of fake Peak milk and manufacturer of fake water used in mixing injections.
NAFDAC said all the case would be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and prosecution.
Enelamah also informed that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has expressed readiness to complete all its testing and certifications processes within 60 days.
The clinic was created as an intervention with individual agencies to solve the challenges of the MSMEs.“As you know, Aba is a place well known for its industries and entrepreneurship. It is a good example of how partnership can happen within the private sector and the government. Between states and the Federal Government and between funding agencies and enterprises.
“We have received commitments from some key agencies like NAFDAC that they will strive to give approvals to MSMEs within 90 days. We received similar assurance from SON to give certifications within 60 days,” Enelamah stated.