After years of operating outside port premises, there are indications that the Standards OrganisationofNigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) may soon be returned back to the port.
Members of the House of Representatives have called on the Federal Government to reconsider its earlier decision barring both agencies from operating at the nation’s seaports.
The lower chamber maintained that the two key agencies are needed at the seaports and borders to fight the influx of sub-standard and life-endangering goods into the country, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawmakers said the call has become important as Federal Government strategies to kick-start the nation’s economy post-COVID-19 pandemic
Adopting a motion under “Matters of urgent public importance”, raised at the plenary session, the House stated that allowing SON and NAFDAC back to the ports will represent part of the strategies to effectively check the influx of sub-standard goods into the country.
The House has mandated its committee on finance to meet and liaise with the Minister of Finance on the urgent need for SON and NAFDAC to return to the ports and borders.
The motion was moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, representing Anaocha South/Anaocha North/Oshimili South federal constituency of Delta State.
The House categorically stated that no other agency can carry out the statutory functions of SON and NAFDAC, maintaining that the functions of quality assurance cannot be inter-changed with any other sister agency.
There have been several appeals from the various sectors, operators and stakeholders on the need for the Federal Government to return SON in particular at the nation’s ports as a major move against the menace of sub-standard and counterfeited products across the country.