The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has designed a set of guidelines aimed at increasing cosmetics production in the country.
The guidelines include: Guidelines for Micro or Kitchen scale Cosmetics producers and the Guidelines for Medium and Large scale Cosmetics producers.
Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, while announcing this, explained that the scaled down policies will drive growth in cosmetics Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise sectors in line with ease of doing business.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting with all chemical marketers, distributors and veterinary products tagged: A Date with the DG, which held in Lagos, Prof. Adeyeye said; “The difference in the two documents is that the Micro is an abridged form of the Medium and Large scale cosmetics guidelines.
“The number of documents, staff strength and room space was scaled down for the micro and likewise, the number of products they can manufacture.
“The boldest move made so far by the Agency is consent for use of personal kitchens to manufacture certain classes of cosmetics products under micro scale. Albeit, may I state clearly that kitchens shared by families will not be allowed neither will individual kitchens that are kept untidy.
“Still in the spirit of ease of doing business, the Agency has put in place processes and procedures for companies with similar products and limited resources to use common facilities provided their products are similar.
“The quality of products circulating within our jurisdiction is more of a focus and we are focusing more on post-marketing surveillance (pms). We will be increasing our vigilance activities and spot checks to ensure consistent product quality. We have as a result, developed relevant guidelines and documents to enhance post-marketing surveillance activities in the country.
“In line with the Ease of Doing Business, the Agency created the Small Business Support Desk (SBSD) whose function is to facilitate registration processes for micro and small business operators through engagements such as MSME Clinics, Exhibitions, NAFDAC Product Registration Outreach, NaPRO.
“The decentralisation of registration of certain regulated products commenced in April 2018. This was done to make approvals at the zonal levels more effective and the goals of MSMEs more realisable. This has been made possible after the creation of six zonal directorates and the FCT directorate.”
Similarly, the agency pledged to regulate multiple registrations, imposed on the marketers by sister agencies for producers and distributors of cosmetics, agrochemicals and veterinary products.
The agencies are the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA); Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).
Commenting on this, Prof. Adeyeye said, she has commenced discussions with the Director General of related agencies on how to bring an end to the issue of multiple product registrations, which is unpleasant to stakeholders.
The DG who was responding to the request of stakeholders in removing several registrations of a product, explained that this is not in favour of ease of doing business policy in Nigeria, as it is hitting hard on marketers.
She said;”We are working on it right now, as we are already talking with the Director General of SON, CPC, and NESREA. We have to come to an agreement, as it is the stakeholders that are at the losing end, because of many regulations and fees imposed on them. We are also talking about it at the vice presidency level, in terms of ease of doing business, and creating an environment, conducive for businesses”.
The NAFDAC boss further pledged to look into the issue of police harassment on agrochemicals dealers, as the agrochemicals distributors complained bitterly about unnecessary threats and distraction of their members by the Police, as they go about their legal businesses in the society.
Prof. Adeyeye also noted that NAFDAC has scaled down some of her processes for the micro scale cosmetics manufacturers without compromising standards and put in place policies that will drive growth in cosmetics MSME sectors in line with ease of doing business.
She however stressed the decision of the agency to allow micro entrepreneurs in the cosmetics industry to use their personal kitchens to produce certain products, but with a caveat that untidy and shared kitchens will not be permitted for use.
She said; “The boldest move made so far by the Agency is consent for use of personal kitchens to manufacture certain classes of cosmetics products under micro scale. Albeit, may I state clearly that kitchens shared by families will not be allowed neither will individual kitchens that are kept untidy”.
While appealing to the stakeholders to adhere to the rules and regulations of NAFDAC during product registration, she highlighted the generally observed lapses to include: untimely renewals of listing certificates, incomplete documentations , for example, inadequate stock cards & utilization records, safety data sheets without chemical compositions, illegible attachments to the portal, noncompliance to good warehousing practice, etc.
On minimisation of pesticides residues on exported agricultural produce, she said the agency is setting up policies in terms of exportation of agro products, which will ensure that exporters bring their products to NAFDAC first for testing, in order to save the nation from further national embarrassment due to products containing high pesticides residues.
Mr. Mamud Talid, representative of Pest Control Association of Nigeria, iurged the NAFDAC DG to look into the formation of Pesticide Bill as it is done in other climes, as well as pleaded with the agency to make the intended increase in tariff reasonable enough to their level.
Mr. John Nwabueze, who spoke on behalf of Cosmetics Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, identified the need for NAFDAC to reduce faking of cosmetics in the country, as well as scale up penalty for fakers.