Starting up a new Business, Do I need NAFDAC or NOT? Facts!

food processing

 Met with a very experienced Manufacturing Consultant recently and took some time to ask him a few questions about one issue that has always been on my mind as I thought of starting up a food processing business – Is  NAFDAC registration needed for businesses or not?

Below are excerpts from the very interesting and educative conversation we had on the subject:

Is a NAFDAC registration needed for all businesses set up in Nigeria?: NO! A NAFDAC registration is mandatory for those in the manufacturing and the distribution of Regulated products.

What are regulated product: Regulated products include  drugs, foods, medical devices ( Diapers, pads, products that provide health benefits), cosmetics, chemicals, detergents, drinks, bottled and packaged water.

So if I am going into food production e.g.selling of processed food like packaged garri, will I need a NAFDAC number? Yes you will need the registration, NAFDAC now has a  new fast track registration for companies processing foods and will support them to achieve registration on time.

What are the benefits of securing a nafdac registration for regulated products: Firstly it is complying with the laws of the land and securing your business as non-compliance could lead to a total shut-down of your business. It also has very significant marketing benefits as it helps build trust in your brand. NAFDAC has done a great job in sensitizing the public on the need to confirm that products have NAFDAC number before use especially for food and drugs. So for a small business, having the NAFDAC number will enable other business and your consumers treat you with seriousness and respect.

Do you have an average cost for NAFDAC registration? A NAFDAC registration is not cheap, it depends on the number of brands you want to register but the average price ranges from N200k to N1.5Million for food, cosmetics, medical devices and for drugs it could be more expensive

So how does a start-up go about NAFDAC registration? From conception or 6 months into your business? Well it all depends, if you are importing your products and selling in Nigeria, you will need your NAFDAC registration before you commence business in Nigeria. Customs will not allow you clear your products from the ports without a correct NAFDAC registration. However if you are producing your food or cosmetics locally, you are allowed to write NAFDAC and request a moratorium period (delay period) where which you will get your business started before you commence registration.

I have a friend that went into pure water manufacturing and complained of continuous harassment from NAFDAC which led to his closure, how can a small business avoid this? Chuckles, pardon my smiling, but this is an all too familiar occurrence. NAFDAC does not gain anything when a business closes down. They only want to safeguard the health of Nigerians by reducing the risk of your business producing sub-standard goods. We always advise that SMEs involve NAFDAC or a regulatory consultant at the initial time when they are setting up their factories especially water production factories. This will ensure that the right inputs/decisions are made at the initial phase of planning versus. After the factory has been set up.

How do we learn more about NAFDAC and their registration process? I advise SME owners to do it themselves – go online – http://www.nafdac.gov.ng/

Watch out for episode 2 on NAFDAC registrations.

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