Apparently disturbed by the increasing rate of tramadol import into Nigeria and other illegal pharmaceuticals, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has renewed its working relationship with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to sensitize importers in order to cub the menace.
In a statement sent to DAILY TREND NEWS by the National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Mr Joe Sanni yesterday, both bodies had agreed to a renewed working relationship when operatives of Western Zone Chapter of ANLCA led by the Zonal Coordinator, Comrade John Ofobike paid a scheduled visit on the Director, Ports Inspection Directorate NAFDAC, Professor Samson ’Tunde Adebayo in Yaba, Lagos.
In an address read by the ANLCA boss, he enumerated some operational challenges encountered by his members when interfacing with NAFDAC officials, according to him, one of them is “The traffic challenge in the course of interacting with your offices in processing documentations, is taking its toll on the health and finances of our members. We will appreciate the automation of first and second stampings. before Customs releases.
“Our members will also appreciate a reduction of the costs involved in processing documentation and, the automation of the payment of statutory fees processes. Also, Delays in unblocking cargoes should be minimized, after queries have been sorted out”
“We will appreciate a proactive approach to dealing with issues of addresses, batch numbers, language labeling on products, with a view to resolving virtually all problems that will delay, and escalate costs of deliveries”
“ANLCA will appreciate assistances for our card carrying members, when Borderline Products issues are in contention, in order to facilitate trade.
“To facilitate the execution of your Agency’s mandate in the Ports, ANLCA will like to partner with NAFDAC in checkmating the inflow of illegal drugs and unwholesome substances into Nigeria” Oforbike assured
Responding, Professor Samson Adebayo, highlighted the effects of dangerous, banned and unregistered drugs and products on the health of Nigerians, especially the youths who, after taking such substances, engage in acts of criminalities bordering on security breaches.
The Director, PID assured that mechanisms are being put in place presently to automate all processes in NAFDAC.
According to Prof. Adebayo, this was a charged handed down to all officers by the Director General of NAFDAC Professor Mrs Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye to ensure that every process in NAFDAC is automated before long, in order to drastically reduce human interfaces and minimize
As for the request to reduce the fees charged per product seeking registration, Prof. Adebayo disclosed that the charges were actually on the high side and unsustainable, considering processes involved to carry out the registration of a product.
He further disclosed that three officials are permitted to carry out the GMP abroad within one week, and it is impossible to do more than three products per trip, to be thorough.
He promised to canvass for a realistic tariff with Management.
On the issues of delays in unblocking consignments when queries are sorted out, the Director explained that the process is automated to the extent that once all payments and queries are attended to, the consignment is automatically released