(Aderogba George, NAN)
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned business firms against undermining its regulatory activities but to take advantage of its ease of doing business platforms.
The warning was contained in a statement by NAFDAC Director of Public Affairs Dr Jimoh Abubakar, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that the warning was in response to a recent online publication by the Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) undermining the operations of the agency.
He said the attention of NAFDAC had been drawn to the online publication of APFFLON entitled: ”APFFLON berates NAFDAC shoddy mode of operation.”
Abubakar described the publication, especially the comments made by the association’s president as deliberate, calculated mischief, aimed at fighting the anti-corruption system of NAFDAC.
‘In the past, importers and clearing agents were made to physically move from one NAFDAC office to the other to process the clearance of their goods at the ports.
‘With the appointment of the current Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, many things have changed in the agency.
‘We have fast-tracked the implementation of electronic processing of clearance of goods at the ports from the issuance of licenses to the release of imported products at the ports.
‘The DG mandated that all processes within NAFDAC should move from the previous inefficient manual processing to the online systems, this is to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
‘The fully automated system was deployed in 2017 with an identified group of low-risk importers and clearing agents, who used the system for the clearance of their goods at the ports,’ he said.
According to him, the new system of online documentation and operations of NAFDAC has enabled business firms and owners to clear their consignment without visiting the offices of the agency except when invited.
He said that NAFDAC portal of operation was a user-friendly platform and that it would go ahead with the modernisation of all processes within the agency.
He added that NAFDAC as a customer-focused agency would always accept constructive criticism.
“We have previously received some recommendations for better service delivery from credible importers and clearing agents, which we have entrenched and we will continually commit to embracing more suggestions and recommendations that will keep improving the way we carry out our mandate.
‘We wish to categorically state that officers have been trained to be professional, carry out their assignments ethically, the performances of officers are continuously monitored through the generation of reports by the platform.
‘The general public is therefore advised to disregard the misguided statements and outcry of the APFFLON group, who wants to undermine the genuine efforts of NAFDAC that is making all efforts to facilitate trade and curb corruption in the system,’ he added.