- 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/
- You make NAFDAC registration process sound so easy, this is not the feeling shared by most business? I never said it was an easy process, but I must admit that they have done a great job in improving on their process to ease the process of product registration. That said it is important that SMEs take some time to better understand the requirements of NAFDAC to ensure that they get it right at the first time versus going back and forth in the registration process.
- What will you identify as the no.1 barrier to getting registration done on time? It varies with the kind of business you want to carryout. Based on my experience – for those that want to import specific regulated products and distribute in Nigeria, the major problem is with securing the right documents from the product trademark owner needed for registrations. For those that want to set up a manufacturing or processing facility in Nigeria the major issue remains starting the process early with NAFDAC requirements in mind.
- So clearly it is about getting it right first time? If this is not achieved how long will it take to get registration done? This is a very tricky question, but I from my experience, getting it wrong the first time could lead to business closures as most businesses run out of cash to deliver the changes to their processes requested by NAFDAC. For importations, it could take as long as 3 – 18months to get your product registered if you get it wrong and have to go back and forth seeking correct documentations from the product trademark owner
- That is a major difference in registration timings, so what is the average timing for completing NAFDAC product registrations? It varies with the product classification, for Food, cosmetics and medical devices, it is an average of 4months to 6months. While for Drugs it could take from 6 – 12months.
- It is an expensive and lengthy process – any reasons for this? I wouldn’t say it is lengthy as it is one of the fastest product registration processes in sub-Sahara Africa. A product registration process has to be very thorough as the regulator has to confirm that the manufacturing process can consistently deliver the same quality all through the time when the product registration is valid. To achieve this, they have to complete a legal/trademark check of the product, document verification and product testing. The testing of the product in the NAFDAC labs is the longest lead time in the product registration process.
- Does a small business need to have a regulatory resource when starting? We do not advise this, we advise that they focus on have a Quality control and Assurance staff instead. It is always better to contract this process out. Trust me this is not an advise given due my current position as a consultant.
- Apart from the authenticity that a NAFDAC number gives to your product what other benefits do we receive from having a NAFDAC registration number: With your NAFDAC number you can stop the supply and distribution of other products that do not have the NAFDAC numbers. It also prepares your product for potential export. It is almost near impossible to export regulated products made in Nigeria in business quantities without a NAFDAC number.
- Is NAFDAC registration recognized outside Nigeria? Yes it is, it is well recognized outside Nigeria and gives your product credibility outside the shores of Nigeria.