The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a
federal agency under the Federal Ministry of Health that is responsible for regulating and controlling the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and packaged water in Nigeria.

The organization was established to checkmate illicit and counterfeit products in Nigeria in 1993 under the country’s health and safety law.
Adulterated and counterfeit drugs are a problem in Nigeria. In one 1989 incident, over 150 children died as a result of paracetamol syrup containing diethylene glycol.

The problem of fake drugs was so severe that neighbouring countries such as Ghana and Sierra Leone officially banned the sale of drugs, foods and beverages products made in Nigeria.

Such problems led to the establishment of NAFDAC, with the goal of eliminating counterfeit pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages products that are not manufactured in Nigeria and ensuring that available medications are safe and effective.

The formation of NAFDAC was inspired by a 1988 World Health Assembly resolution requesting countries’ help in combating the global health threat posed by counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

In December 1992, NAFDAC’s first governing council was formed. The council was chaired by Tanimu Saulawa. In January 1993, supporting legislation was approved as legislative Decree No. 15 of 1993. On January 1, 1994, NAFDAC was officially established as a “parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health” [4].
NAFDAC replaced an earlier Federal Ministry of Health body, the Directorate of Food and Drug Administration and Control, which had been deemed ineffective, partially because of lack of laws concerning fake drugs.
NAFDAC is responsible for controlling the manufacture, import-export, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, medical devices and packaged water. Its main goal is to raise public and international awareness on fundamental safety issues and eliminate counterfeit pharmaceuticals, food and beverages that are not manufactured in Nigeria, ensuring that available medications are safe and effective. In particular, the regulated products categories are:

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Medical devices



Vision / Mission of NAFDAC

Counterfeit drugs and goods is still a problem in Nigeria. NAFDAC aims at safeguarding public health through measures put in place by the law so as to ensure that only standardized drugs, food are manufactured and used by the public.

Functions of NAFDAC

NAFDAC has numerous functions that aim at achieving its goal. According to the requirement of the decree by which it was established, the agency is enabled to:

Oversee properly registration of products such as drugs, cosmetics, detergents and chemicals so as to ensure their highest quality

Advocate for food safety programmes by ensuring food facilities are in line with good manufacturing practice (GMP). This is to maintain a good quality of food product that is safe for human consumption

Regulate and control the production, trading, importation, exportation, circulation, use of food, cosmetics, drugs, chemicals and detergents and other regulated products.

Examine and probe into premises where production takes place, raw materials in use which includes an endorsement of production sites and of

Properly scrutinize imported products to ensure relevant quality assurance systems

Develop, operate and improve inspection methods to ensure effective raids so as to guarantee safe, medicinal products, cosmetics & allied products.

Responsible for putting together standard specifications regulations and guidelines for the production, exportation, importation, trading, distribution and registration of regulated products;

Issuance of quality certification of products for exportation

Inspect storage facilities to ensure the safety of goods

The laboratory Services Directorate is responsible for establishing and maintaining relevant laboratories

Ensuring these laboratories conduct appropriate tests and in compliance with standard specifications that have been designed and approved by the governing council. This regulates the use of raw materials from the production stages in factories and other organizations.

Announce on the quality and safety of Products after appropriate thorough analysis

The Narcotics and Controlled substances Directorate is enabled to permit the importation and exportation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as other controlled substances

The narcotics and controlled Substances Directorate puts up measures to make sure narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are used only for scientific and medicinal purposes

Grant authorization for the importation and exportation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as other controlled substances.


Phillip Anuforo is the founder and CEO of He is dedicated to providing information relating to jobs, scholarships and education.

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