Nigeria Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards: by Michael A. David Published by USDA GAIN, 2010
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is the Government of Nigeria’s (GON) regulatory body responsible for the regulation and control of food product manufacturing, importation, exportation, advertisement, sale and distribution in Nigeria. Under the provisions of the GON Act No 19 of 1993 (as amended) and the Food and Related Products (Registration) Act No. 20 of 1999 and the accompanying Guidelines, no food item may be imported, manufactured, advertised, sold or distributed in Nigeria unless it has been registered by NAFDAC.
NAFDAC was established to protect and promote public health by ensuring the wholesomeness, quality, safety and efficacy (as applicable) of food, packaged water, drugs, cosmetics, medical devises, chemicals and detergents (referred to as regulated products) consumed in Nigeria. NAFDAC defines food as any “article manufactured, processed, packaged, sold or advertised for use as food or drink for human consumption, chewing gum and any other ingredient which may be mixed with food for any purpose whatsoever.” Over the past few years, the management of NAFDAC has increased surveillance to curb widespread adulteration of food products.
The main strategy employed by the Agency for the enforcement of Nigeria‟s food laws is the process of product registration. Contravention of the provisions of existing food laws is subject to prosecution and punishment as specified in the code.
In recent years, NAFDAC appears to have become more active and stringent in enforcing existing food laws, which has increased the level of awareness of the consumer to make informed choices and has also encouraged local producers. In theory, any food item not registered with NAFDAC is not legally importable. In practice, many processed foods are routinely illegally smuggled into Nigeria through the land boarders, by sea and by air without having gone through the registration process.