NAFDAC Partners GATF for Better Global Trade Transactions
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has commenced a partnership with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF) to put together strategies for export and import trade in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the drug and food regulatory body through its resident media consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, stating that the procedures were to ensure ease of doing business in Nigeria.
The statement noted that the partnership was also aimed at achieving standardisation, harmonisation of documents and simplified trade formalities for importers and exporters.
It said that NAFDAC Director-General, Mrs Mojisola Adeyeye, reached the agreement at a virtual meeting with GATF Nigeria top officials led by its Project Lead, Mr Bernard Traynor.
The statement added that the partnership project is being powered by GATF, an organisation hosted by the Centre for International Private Enterprise, International Chambers of Commerce, and the World Economic Forum.
“The project in Nigeria is being implemented by the German Technical Cooperation popularly known as GIZ. The alliance is supported by the governments of the US, Canada, Germany, Denmark and the government of Australia through their respective agencies,” the agency noted.
The statement quoted Mrs Adeyeye, who was represented at the meeting by Dr Abimbola Adegboye, Head of Trade and International Relations at the agency, as listing measures that NAFDAC had already put in place for both import and export trade.
Mrs Adeyeye reiterated that NAFDAC had already put in place measures to ensure that there is a seamless and more robust operational procedure with both export and import at the borders.
She said part of the measures was to achieve cooperation among government agencies at the borders, adding that NAFDAC’s focus now was to ensure smooth trade facilitation and regulation.
According to her, operations of regulators should not pose a hindrance to trade transactions but facilitate them.
She said that the agency was making sure that there are not so many interferences between the users of the agency facilities and the agency.
“So, we try as much as possible to remove both human interferences under the guise of consultants, because more or less they do not facilitate trade, they tend to distort it.
“Trade should be on basis of safety and quality, that is the only way trade could be sustained; If quality is not put into your product, It gives the country a bad name, they blacklist the company involved.
“The consumers are the losers because they do not have value for money and their health is compromised,” she stressed.
She stated that these are the issues that the global alliance would be addressing, adding that what would make all these visible and possible was to ensure that operations at the borders are seamless.
According to her, if a producer has perishable items that are to be exported or that are to be allowed into the country and they are delayed unnecessarily or held based on premium conditions, such products could go bad, and the integrity of such product would be compromised.
She said that anything that would make trade operations very easy both for inflow and outflow, and would make the whole process of regulation friendly and not cumbersome for importers and exporters, is what the agency aimed for.
The statement also quoted the Project Manager of GATF, Nigeria, Mr David Okeku, explaining that being an alliance, his organisation had critical private sector partners, and series of projects currently being implemented in Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, Senegal, Uganda and Latin America, Asia and Middle East countries.
“How we work in the alliance is that we partner with multinationals, local businesses because we believe strongly that they will bring in their expertise and also best practices; and also bring in supply-chain companies.
“We use them as our ambassadors globally and in-country. Local businesses also contribute in form of expertise and resources in kind towards the alliance,” the statement added.