In a decisive and quick move to douse tension and assuage the yearnings of stakeholders in the pharmaceutical, food and allied industries, the Governing Council of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has suspended implementation of the new tariffs, which came into effect on June 1, 2019.
After a marathon stakeholder’s forum and meeting of the governing council, it was resolved that all NAFDAC stakeholders affected by the new tariffs will, henceforth, revert to payment of the old tariffs until further notice.
The chairman of NAFDAC Governing Council, Hon. Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos, said the status quo remains, while NAFDAC will continue to dialogue with all the concerned stakeholders on the tariff review and other regulatory issues.
Abdul-Kadir said: “The council has considered substantially the inputs of the stakeholders in arriving at a new tariff regime, which will soon be released by the agency after doing all the needful including sensitising the public before it becomes effective.”
According to him, the suspension of the new tariffs was borne out of NAFDAC’s avowed commitment to the promotion of the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
His words: “The need to carry along our stakeholders in decision making is in line with global best practices. NAFDAC will continue to promote the manufacture, exportation and importation of good quality products. We need to promote local manufacture of regulated products as part of Federal Government’s concerted efforts to create jobs and increase foreign exchange earnings by our dear nation.
“Nigeria has potential of producing pharmaceutical products for the domestic consumption and export to West African countries.”
The chairman who was one-time Minister of Youths, stressed the need for NAFDAC to procure new laboratory equipment, operational vehicles and other facilities to enable it render quality and efficient regulatory services, monitor and carry out enforcement activities towards safeguarding the health of the nation.
Abdul-Kadir said the agency would ultimately evolve separate tariffs for the over 35 million MSME operators dealing on NAFDAC regulated products while also ensuring that they adhere strictly to extant regulations without compromise.
The emergency council meeting, which was preceded by a stakeholder’s forum in Lagos, was attended by captains of industry, representatives of various sectoral groups, such as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of MAN, Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN), Indian Pharmaceutical Importers, National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).