By Aderogba George
Abuja – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to always examine products on shelves before buying.
The agency’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Jimoh Abubakar, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
He said “we always tell the public that all NAFDAC regulated products must be licenced by the agency, whether it is food, drugs, medical devices, or packaged water.
“All products must have NAFDAC registration number. We also insist that people should be very careful, beware and watch out for labelling requirements, examine the label if you want to buy a product.
“Also examine the content of the product, the seal of authority or the approved registration number from NAFDAC which is sacrosanct; NAFDAC registration number is not just a number, it is not plate number of a vehicle.
“The number is a rigorous scientific elaboration of a product through our laboratory analysis and through certain compendium references, and after all these by NAFDAC, a product will then be
certified for safety, efficacy and wholesomeness.
“We have to look at the whole process of good manufacturing practice, the location and all factors put together to certify a product.”
According to him, good hygiene must be put into the labelling along with the registration number before a product can be certified fit for human consumption.
Abubakar said that the registration number from NAFDAC is a seal of authority that people must always watch out for in any product they intend to buy.
He said there could be fake registration number, but that perpetrators would be caught anytime anyday, “so, that should not stop the agency from carrying out its statutory function of certifying products.”
He pointed out that the date of manufacturing and expiry were essential when examining labels.
He added that technology had made most things easier now and urged Nigerians to visit NAFDAC’s website to get more information about products.
He noted that some products are listed on the website, especially sachet water, as the agency’s staff strength is not enough to be everywhere or to police the country’s population.
“Public awareness and information are very cardinal for people to help themselves; NAFDAC leverages so much on public sensitisation. So, people must help themselves on the consumption of these products,” he said.