by Gift Samuel, The Sight News
The Directors General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma and his counterpart in the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mrs. Moji Adeyeye have affirmed the commitment of the two organisations to the welfare and health of Nigerians through improved collaboration.
This affirmation was made during a courtesy visit of the NAFDAC DG and some members of her Management to the SON office in Abuja over the weekend.
Welcoming Professor Adeyeye and her team, the SON Chief Executive stated that the two sister regulatory agencies have the collective responsibility of working for the overall interest of the Nation and its people.
According to him, the enabling Acts of the two agencies as well others have clearly delineated their functions, stressing that areas of perceived overlap should be taken as opportunities for collaboration and cooperation rather than competition.
He stated that the use of the Harmonized Systems (HS) Codes for examination of goods at the Nation’s entry points was in line with international best practices and aimed at reducing conflicts to the barest minimum.
Mr. Aboloma advocated the expansion of the seamless collaboration between the two agencies in standards development activities at technical committees, standards compliance and enforcement as well as the joint membership of institutions like the National Codex Committee among others.
He enumerated that the inspection visits by SON officials to factories producing NAFDAC regulated products under its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) are statutory and in line with the World Trade Organisation requirements. This according to Mr. Aboloma is in relation to the off-shore conformity assessment programme (SONCAP) for imported products and to ensure a level playing field for locally manufactured and imported products.
Responding, the new NAFDAC Chief Executive thanked her counterpart for the warm reception accorded her team and acknowledged the need for greater synergy between the two agencies.
Professor Adeyeye stated that her decades of practice as an academician and researcher in functionalities of raw materials and chemicals had impacted on her, the value of standardization and its role in human and societal development.
She likened the structure of the two agencies in Nigeria to what obtains in the United States of America where collaborative co-existence among the American Standards Institute and the Food and Drug Administration Department (FDA) has been taken to enviable heights.
Professor Adeyeye commended the existing cordial relationship between the two agencies and advocated for greater synergy to ensure smooth baton exchange in the standards development and regulation relay.
The NAFDAC DG promised to provide the required support to her team in accelerating the achievement of the objectives of the joint standing committee of the two agencies.
“I look forward to greater and more regular interactions with the SON DG and management in the coming months and years to deepen the existing cordial relationship” she said.