The National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has met with the Business Community in Benin Republic as part of efforts to prevent export of substandard products into Nigeria.
The forum, held in Cotonou, was also to highlight key issues in the Federal Government policy on ease of doing business and prevent falsification of products’documents.
A statement by NAFDAC made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja indicated that Nigeria’s Ambassador to Benin Republic, Kayode Oguntuase, also attended the forum.
It said that NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Christiana Adeyeye highlighted the agency’s processes and registration requirements for certification of products.
She also announced that guidelines for registration would be translated into French language in order to promote Nigeria’s ease of doing business policy with Benin and other francophone countries.
Adeyeye noted that the business forum became necessary to ensure that drugs, food and cosmetic products billed for export to Nigeria met required standards.
She stressed that discussions at the forum centered around ways to ease off difficulties encountered in doing business with Nigeria’s neighbours and called for harmonization of products and registration process across Africa.
According to her, the harmonization would help standardize products quality on the continent.
She stressed that in spite of the ECOWAS treaty on free movement, the forums was necessary to promote beneficial trade between West African nations and Africa as a whole.
Mr Houssou Epiphone, Head of the food and drug regulatory body in Benin Republic, who spoke at the event, urged NAFDAC to “do everything possible to set up the machinery that would facilitate trade between Benin and Nigeria’’.
He noted the difficulties being encountered during registration process and suggested new initiatives, including signing of MOU with NAFDAC to ease the process for registration of products and create framework for further meetings.
The Vice President of Benin Republic Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Mr Soule Yacoubou, led a strong representation of businessmen and women to the forum.