Segun Oladipupo |
The National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has accused freight forwarders operating within the sea, air and land borders of forging and doctoring of documents.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye made the allegation in a statement made available to our corespondent on Sunday in reaction to a news item credited to the National Association of Governmemt Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF)
The National Coordinator of 100 percent compliance team of NAGAFF, Alhaji Ibrahin Tanko had accused NAFDAC and one other agency of indiscriminate and excessive collection of sample materials at the ports.
He added that the sample materials were not always returned after conducting tests on them.
He therefore vowed that the compliance team would focus its attention on such anomaly in the new year, saying importers have been burdened by the illegal practice.
In her response, the Director General of NAFDAC through Prof. Samson B. Adebayo, Director of Ports Inspection, called on importers to initiate clearing processes themselves rather than asking their agents to do that because even when they have
genuine and complete documents, for whatever reasons, some clearing agents still submit forged documents.
She said, “It is important to inform the general public of the unprofessional behavior of some unscrupulous agents operating at the Ports (Air & Sea) and Land who indulge in forgery and doctoring of documents.
“All NAFDAC processes are now carried out as online transactions
and upon completion, a ‘Release Notice’ that is verifiable using any QR Reader – is issued for each transaction.
“All importers are admonished to always initiate the clearance processes by themselves (rather than asking their agents to do that) because even when they have
genuine and complete documents, for whatever reasons some clearing agents still submit forged documents. It should be noted that offenders would be prosecuted when caught.
“Clearing agents are therefore warned that where such occurs, the names of such erring clearing agents would be compiled and sent to the office of the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service for sanctions.
Professor Adeyeye added that it had been observed that clearing agents collect sampling receipts and do not present them to importers, saying they know that excess samples have been collected and taken away by the clearing agents.
“The challenge we have observed is that Clearing agents collect these Sampling Receipts and do not present them to importers because they know that excess samples have been collected and taken away by these clearing agents.
“NAFDAC samples are collected based on international best practices and standards for
laboratory testing. Samples drawn are collected and tested and samples kept as retention
samples in case of retesting where there is unsatisfactory laboratory results (this means the products failed laboratory testing).
“Where there is a need to return some quantities
(especially bulk sampling), the importer is notified via the sampling receipt to visit the
laboratory for the returned sample.
“This is done especially in cases of bulk raw materials for products packed in bulk bags. It is important to collect a whole bag because of the need to ensure that the samples are drawn in an environment free from contamination at the
laboratory and not at the Ports.
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